Merry Christmas folks! Thankfully the madness of Christmas Day is out of the way and we can now get stuck into the real highlight of the festive period: Boxing Day racing.
There are no less than 11 (eleven) race meetings across the U.K. and Ireland so you can forgive me for not being able to preview every race at every venue. I do have plenty of horses that I fancy though and I’ve whittled that down to four main selections for the day.
The one who catches the eye here is TURTLE WARS who was a winning hurdler and was strongly fancied on chase debut before nearly being brought down quite early on. He never recovered from that and I think you can write that one off to bad luck. He is now a very nice each way price and I can see him going close today for a big hitting owner and trainer combination.
There are plenty who appeal here but the one that I like at the prices is TAKINGRISKS. At the time of writing there are 8 runners so this is ideal for an each way punt.
Takingrisks is a very consistent horse who will enjoy running here in a higher grade with a lower weight to carry. I can see him running a really big race with conditions in his favour.
NEACHELLS BRIDGE is a horse I have had my eye on since he was a bunker horse and he duly turned up in great style last time out when winning a handicap in fine style. I think Neil Mulholland has a much better horse up his sleeve here than we have seen on the track so far. I suspect he will be the well backed favourite for this race and will hopefully win well.
I haven’t heard anyone in the horse racing world with a really strong and confident selection for the race which is quite unusual for such a big race. Might Bite is the favourite although he finished last of 5 runners last time out and I need no reminders that I tipped him that day.
That run was just too bad to be true and he is almost drifting to the sort of price I could back him at but there is the risk that the horse has peaked last season so if I was backing him I would also consider laying him for a place.
All of the other contenders have question marks of some sort – Waiting Patiently (readiness/fitness), Native River (speed/trip), Thistlecrack (recent jumping), Politologue (trip), Bristol De Mai (Haydock specialist), Clan Des Obeaux (class) all appeal in some way but are not entirely convincing.
The one that I am selecting at the prices is THISTLECRACK who could win this easily if his jumping returns to previous standards. He looked to be coming back to his best last time out and is more likely to be involved at the finish than some of the others.