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Friday's Racing Preview - Musselburgh and Punchestown

The Punchestown Festival reaches its fourth day of racing, after an action-packed week so far.

Tomorrow's feature race is the 17:30 Racing Post Champion Hurdle (Grade 1). Unusually, only three horses are lining up at the start.

Two of them, though, are pretty special. Hurricane Fly has won this race four years in a row, and while he only managed a fourth at Cheltenham he has recently beaten his main competitor here, Jezki, both in the Ryanair Hurdle and he Irish Champion Hurdle.

Jezki is a handy challenger, and will undoubtedly push Hurricane Fly to the end, but we fancy Hurricane to take the win.

The best odds on him can be found at BetFred, where he is currently evens for the win.

For what it's worth, while you're there they also have the best odds on Steps To Freedom, the third wheel in this race. It's not at all likely that he's going to even figure in the race to the line, but at 40/1 we'd slip a shy pound his way.

Meanwhile, over at Musselburgh, the 15:35 Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap is another small field with one likely winner.

Ventura Quest took two wins last year, and his handicap has recently returned to a more comfortable level after a 5lb jump towards the end of 2013.

He lost his first mile race by six lengths, but he was gaining at the finish and this nine furlong event, despite being a fraction further, shouldn't present an insurmountable challenge.

His strongest competitor, Yenhaab, has pulled out, so Ventura Quest's odds are shortening, but you can still pick him up at 5/6 over at Paddy Power.

Our final tip of the day is in the 16:40 at Musselburgh.

Cavalieri hasn't done this run previously, but his last tme out was over a slightly shorter distance and he looked like he still had plenty in hand at the end.

He still has plenty of improvement in him, and we think he's got what it takes over his rivals here.

His odds are fluctuating and William Hill have consistently been the longest.

He's currently 7/4, but check back because he's been out to 9/4 previously and may yet go there again.

Sunday Racing Roundup - Ayr

With another day of racing lined up ahead of us, our eyes turn to Ayr, where Dubai Dynamo is running in the 16:30.

Looking at his form you might disagree with our selection, as he hasn't had a win since this time last year.

He took the laurels at Thirsk running off a mark of 88 but was subsequently saddled with a big boost in his rating that left him a little adrift of his league.

The handicap has now swung back in his favour, though. That year long barren spell has seen him slowly drop lower, and tomorrow he's running of a mark of 80.

He impressed on the all-weather surface at Wolverhampton earlier in the month, depsite it clearly not being a surface that suited him, and his fitness shouldn't be a worry.

We think he's been priced a little longer than he deserves, and it's definitely worth a visit to Coral to pick him up at 6/1 before his odds start to come shorter.

Looking a little earlier in the day, the 14:30 at Ayr looks like a busy race.

With so many entrants it might be hard to pick a winner, but we like the look of Baltic Spirit.

Owned by one K Dalgleish - but sadly not the football legend - she needed to brush off a few cobwebs in her first run of the season.

Now that's out of the way we think she's going to make rapid strides towards the front. She never took a win last year but she only got better and better over the season, culminating with a second place that came within inches of a victory.

She was only two lengths shy of the win in Catterick earlier this week, even though that did leave her fourth, and we think she's definitely one to be on this weekend.

If you head over to William Hill you can pick her up at 9/2 now.

As ever, the Paddy Power Money Back Special is an appealing offer, and tomorrow's also falls on the 2:30 at Ayr.

While none of the horses on longer odds really appeal, we think Commandable is well worth a flutter.

He's run already this year without much fanfare but he should have shaken out the winter blues compared to some of the other runners, and he's at a good place in the weights.

With the Money Back Special refunding your bet if he finishes second or third, we think 8/1 at Paddy Power is a rather good deal.

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