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Horse Racing

Musselburgh & Newbury – Sunday 20th February

Sunday 20th February 13:10

WhichBookie racing analyst Andrew Blair White provides a preview and betting tips for races at Musselburgh and Newbury on Sunday 20th February.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
River Walk 15/815/8 Win
2.45 Musselburgh
Place BetPlace Bet
Zara's Universe 9/19/1 Each Way - 4 Places
3.55 Musselburgh
Place BetPlace Bet
Dreams of Hope 13/213/2 Each Way
3.05 Newbury
Place BetPlace Bet
Bothwell Bridge 15/815/8 Win
4.15 Newbury
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 20/02/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:30 20/02/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

I must say there has been very few bits of more disappointing news than waking up this morning to see that Navan had been abandoned due to waterlogging on the track. Not only was I looking forward to getting down to watch the racing, but I had already drafted up my article with plenty of selections to get stuck into. However, there has been a last minute change of plans and we now head to Musselburgh and Newbury for our Sunday entertainment, and let’s hope they can both live up to the void left by Navan.

Starting at Musselburgh, and there 2.45 race which is a 2m4f handicap hurdle and is a race for horses rated between 0-115. It would be unlike me to side with the horse at the top of the market for a race of this nature, but I simply can’t get River Walk out of my head in this race, and his opening handicap mark could well prove to be manageable. His record thus far for Donald McCain has been superb since joining the yard, with a bumper win being followed up by a win over this course and distance over hurdles on his bow over the sticks. He subsequently met a very good horse at Catterick and he came up short in second, but there was no disgrace in that run and he should be primed to go well again. At a price of 15/8 with Paddy Power, he looks to have a great chance. 

The 3.55 is another ordinary handicap hurdle over the same distance of 2m4f and is for horses rated 0-100. I am going to take a chance on the lowly rated Zara’s Universe, who despite looking a shade vulnerable from a win perspective, is more than likely to her usual solid race. The form of her last three efforts have been more than pleasing, where she has filled out the frame in all three starts, and the handicapper is trying to give her a squeak by pushing her down the weights slightly. These conditions should prove to be optimum for this mare and if she is to repeat the exploits of some of her previous runs, she should not be out of the frame. At a price of 9/1 with Betfair, who are paying 4 places – she looks a good each way bet. 

Moving down to Newbury and the 3.05 race, which is a 2m novices handicap chase and this class 2 contest looks like one of the best races on the card. I am going to be siding with the northern raider in this line-up, Dreams of Hope for the Donald McCain team, who continue in such wonderful form, with the promising Theo Gillard taking the ride. There is every hope that these conditions are exactly what this horse needs and after undergoing wind surgery after his latest second, he should have a bit more improvement to give. His last two performances have yielded solid seconds against good standard opposition, and his win previously at Ayr was in the manner of a progressive horse – so there should be more to come from him than a mark of 134 would suggest. At a price of 13/2 with Paddy Power, who are offering 2 places – he is an each way bet. 

The final selection of the day comes in the 4.15 race at Newbury, which is a 2m6f novices handicap chase and no different to the first race I covered on this column today, I can’t get away from a horse at the top of the market. Despite an early tumble last time out at Kempton, the one to be siding with does look like Bothwell Bridge, who boasts the best form in the line-up and if returning to his best, would devour this opposition. His win on chase debut was a taking effort, when jumping superbly at Sandown, so it was a major shock to see him come down so early on his novices handicap debut. He is top weight in this contest, which is very fair given what he has achieved both over hurdles and in his first start over fences, so he should take a fair amount of beating. Also at a price of 15/8 with Paddy Power, I think he should run very well.

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