Horse racing tips: Ludlow, Wincanton, Chelmsford and Southwell – Steve Mullen's betting preview for the racing this Thursday, January 18

Horse racing tips: Ludlow, Wincanton, Chelmsford and Southwell – Steve Mullen's betting preview for the racing this Thursday, January 18

January 31, 2022

LUDLOW 

1.00

PASSING CALL had to settle for second at Southwell last time after making a slight mess of the final flight.

That was just her second run over timber and her first was a good effort too, at Uttoxeter. She wouldn’t have to improve much to take this.

Rouergate chased her home on debut and won’t be far away again.

1.30

HAPPY DIVA stepped into Listed class at Newbury last time to run an excellent second over 3m. The drop back in distance isn’t a worry as she won over shorter as a hurdler.

Soft ground suits and her rider is good value for his 5lb claim. Shaama Grise has shown promise on two chasing runs and is clearly on the upgrade.

2.00 – Mullen's star bet (add to your betslip)

ACTINPIECES was beaten less than half a length when fourth at Wetherby last time out.

That was in stronger company than this and he saw out the 3m trip with plenty left in the locker. The ground is fine and she looks open to improvement.

Mystical Knight was entitled to need the run at Bangor last time after eight months off and can do better too.

2.35

LYGON ROCK may have been sent off at 50-1 for his hurdling debut at Huntingdon last time but he didn’t run like an outsider.

He was beaten by just a length and Richard Johnson is an eyecatching booking today. Gortroe Joe was backed off the boards before finishing fourth at Ludlow last time.

He was leading until clattering the second-last and is another open to improvement.

3.10

VIRAK stands out at hunter chase level given he has spent much of his career contesting top handicaps.

He didn’t fire at all last term but is taking a big drop in class here with the Cheltenham Foxhunters in mind. Mendip Express looks next best but is giving weight to Paul Nicholls’ runner.

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3.45

GAMAIN went well in third over course and distance last time and should go close off the same mark. He was only run out of it in the closing stages after being right up with the pace throughout.

Another good run is on the cards. The Sweeney has shown promise in novice hurdles over shorter distances and is on a fair mark upped in distance for this handicap debut.

4.20

FLASH THE STEEL was beaten in a tight finish on his debut here last time and looks more than capable of going one better.

He was in the lead entering the final furlong before being collared late on. He should be capable of getting off the mark here.

Nicky Henderson has two likely improvers in Laughing Luis and Ligny that are worth a look in the betting.

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SOUTHWELL

12.20 Tilly Devine

12.50 Mamnoon

1.20 Angel Palanas

1.50 Axe Cap

2.20 Tricky Dicky

2.55 The Lock Master

3.30 Something Lucky

4.05 Leonard Thomas

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