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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Latest news and going updates for all of today's meetings

The maiden contests at the Curragh could be particularly informative
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While it is by no means the highest-profile weekend of the Flat season, Friday's action at least provides a nice warm-up for the Saturday fare, with no less than eight meetings in Britain and Ireland combined.

The racing at Sandown is likely to dominate the afternoon's proceedings, although there is further Flat action at Thirsk and some jump racing at Bangor. 

In the evening, there is plenty of congestion with five meetings to keep your eyes on, including a maiden-laden meeting at the Curragh and a Down Royal card featuring Peregrine Run and 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup third Road To Riches.

Back in Britain, there is all-weather action at Wolverhampton and Newcastle, and a turf fixture from Hamilton, where the Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap (6.55) is perhaps the most interesting contest on the card.

Going report

Sandown (first race at: 1.40)
Good to soft, good in places on the round course (GoingStick: 6.1 round, 5.7 sprint)

Bangor-on-Dee (1.50)
Good (GoingStick: 6.8)

Thirsk (2.00)

Wolverhampton (3.25)

Curragh (4.20)
Straight course: yielding, good to yielding in places
Round course: good to yielding, good in places

Down Royal (4.35)

Hamilton (4.55)
Good to soft, good in places (GoingStick: 7.3)

Newcastle (5.45)

Market movers

2.30 Thirsk: Toffee Galore into 7-4 (from 9-4)
3.25 Wolverhampton: Up Ten Down Two into 7-2 (from 6)
4.05 Bangor: Atlas into 7-2 (from 6)
6.25 Hamilton: Yes You into 2-1 (from 3)

What to back

Paul Kealy has three he fancies across the Friday cards, while a few of our tipsters think one horse in particular has a great chance at Sandown.

What to read

Read how Grand National winner Tiger Roll is set to be aimed at the same spring double as last season, according to his trainer Gordon Elliott.

As for the Flat season, read about Charlie Appleby's bid to complete a 'dream double' in the Melbourne Cup.

What to watch

Listen as George Scott talks about how Frankie Dettori is set for a helicopter dash in September between Kempton and Haydock to ride the trainer's James Garfield.

The best of Racing Post Sport

Dan Childs looks at the fallout from Thursday's Champions League draw and how it has affected the market for European football's premier club competition.

If you're prepared to get your football fix at a slightly lower level than Manchester City and Real Madrid, there is also a preview of Friday's Championship clash between top of the table Leeds and Middlesbrough.

Final thought 

There is no real standout contest during Friday's action, but there could be future standout horses starting their promising early careers in one of the four maidens at the Curragh. It could pay to follow those races, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Carefully, a son of War Front out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous, a particularly eye-catching debutant.

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