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Today's tips: Racing preview and best bets

Our daily duo of Rory Delargy and David Massey are back with a look ahead to today's quality racing.

Racing betting tips: Thursday April 18

1pt e.w. Marshman in 3.00 Newmarket at 9/2 (Sky Bet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5) - min 4/1

1pt e.w. Ooh Betty in 3.50 Cheltenham at 16/1 (bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes 1/5 1,2,3) - min 12/1

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

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3.00 Newmarket

MARSHMAN was mugged late by the improved Montassib in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster and he gave the impression that the difference between the pair was track position, with the winner covered up and getting the gaps late while Marshman raced without cover into a headwind, and that, coupled with heavy ground, saw his stamina stretched.

Today he will have good ground and the wind at his back and looks overpriced to go one better in this admittedly deeper race.

Karl Burke also has Spycatcher in the race with Clifford Lee seeming to prefer that gelding, but he is surely better on softer ground, and I’ve no hesitation in nominating Marshman as the pick of the yard on the day.

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2.40 Cheltenham

On My Command has a little to prove, but is definitely interesting at a price here. There are more likely winners in the race, but On My Command has her plus points, not least the fact her trainer Martin Keighley is showing green shots of recovery after a poor winter, with two of his last five runners winning, both ridden by Sean Bowen, as On My Command is today.

On My Command missed 2023 completely and has only been seen the once for her current yard, that coming over an inadequate trip at Kempton back in February on ground too soft and when the trainer was having a poor spell. There was enough in that run to think that there’s a fair bit of her old ability left, and a mark of 117 is 3lb below her last winning rating, so there are reasons to think she could turn in a better effort over a trip that will suit, and on better ground, which she seems to require.

She ran very well at this meeting in 2022 for previous connections, and it’s very possible that Keighley, who likes a winner at his local track, has been working backwards from this target. Her price contracted overnight and we’d need 20/1 or bigger to get involved, but it’s possible she’ll drift back.

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3.50 Cheltenham

Golden Ace only has to turn up here to collect the prize, according to the betting, and whilst it’s hard to deny her claims on form, I’m not sure I’d be diving in at 4/7 given the extra half mile will ask questions of her unproven stamina, and her price does make the race attractive for some each-way thievery.

OOH BETTY should be clear second favourite on what she’s shown this season, and is the one who makes appeal against - or indeed without - the favourite. An easy winner over this sort of trip on good ground at Hereford back in November, she beat Aston Martini at Lingfield next time giving her 3lb (demoted in stewards’ room) yet she gets 3lb from that rival today, making her look nicely treated.

She lost nothing in defeat when trying to give chunks of weight away to the thrown-in Party Vibes at Market Rasen or indeed when carrying top weight in the ultra-competitive EBF Mares Final at Newbury last time, finishing a highly creditable third. She’s very consistent, and will like conditions, so there’s plenty of upside about her at current odds.

4:25 Cheltenham

This 2m chase promises to be run at a good clip, with both Found On and Sacre Coeur in attendance, and that leads us to think that something ridden with a bit more patience can come through late to take it.

Somespring Special bounced right back to form at Plumpton at the weekend, travelling and jumping well held up, picking off the blazeaway Magistrato two out and going on to record a ready 8½-length success. On the same mark here, as that was a conditionals event, the question is whether she can handle the four-day turnaround, but there are encouraging signs in her trainer’s statistics.

Anthony Honeyball has a 52% strike rate throughout his training career when turning out previous winners within 7 days, which lessens any fears that Somespring Special might bounce, and the key to her appears to be nothing more complicated than good ground, with her poor efforts under rules coming on soft or heavy ground. With conditions again in her favour, she appears to have plenty in hand, although we don’t make a habit of putting up even-money bets, so she won’t go on the list.

Posted at 0948 BST on 18/04/24

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