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Thirsk top tips: It’s Showtime for best value, Bint Alfella quietly fancied on turf return

With eight meetings across the UK and Ireland on this busy horse racing Friday, Thirsk’s card is as competitive as any, including this quickfire handicap sprint over the minimum distance.

16:08 Thirsk: Download the Vickers.Bet App Handicap (5 furlongs)

If recent form is the yardstick here, then Noisy Music is a justifiable short-priced favourite having only landed her maiden win for Michael Appleby four days ago at Windsor.

However, that race was over a longer six-furlong trip and she did most of her best work in the final stretch, so she might just have questions to answer over this sharper trip, not to mention the six extra pounds she has to carry here.

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The market leader’s short price opens the door for better potential value elsewhere, and that certainly brings in It’s Showtime, who ended a sequence of near misses with an impressive maiden win at the 10th attempt on Lingfield’s good-to-firm turf three weeks ago.

Conrad Allen’s three-year-old filly has paid an eight-pound price for that success, but the way she eased more than two lengths clear of some capable sprinters that day suggests she can absorb that penalty under in-form Jack Gilligan, who teamed up successfully with the same trainer on Sunday and is stringing some impressive results together.

Best value bet: It’s Showtime each-wayin the 16:08 at Thirsk


With four places widely up for grabs, there is clearly some each-way value to be found deeper in the betting, and while Opal Storm and Havagomecca look interesting prospects, it is Kevin Ryan’s Bint Alfella who is quietly fancied to hit the ground running after a three-month hiatus.

As a juvenile last summer, she came within a length of a debut win at Beverley, since when she put in a handful of increasingly disappointing all-weather outings over the winter.

A first-time tongue strap last time out at Wolverhampton in February failed to improve matters significantly, so connections will be hoping that her subsequent wind surgery will have solved any breathing issues and get her back on track.

It might be something of a stretch to expect an immediate victory, but she is certainly no forlorn hope to make the frame on her first turf outing since her close-up second on debut last August.

Each-way punt: Bint Alfella each-wayin the 16:08 at Thirsk



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