Two great Boxing Day performances by Silviniaco Conti and Faugheen saw them harden at the head of the Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle markets, whilst our forecast for Faugheen to beat Purple Bay and our each-way bet on Dynaste gave us a 13-point profit on the day.
The great festive action doesn’t stop there though and we’ve got some horse racing tips for three high-quality 2-mile chases from Leopardstown and Kempton, whilst Chepstow stages the Welsh National
Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, Leopardstown 1.10
Uxizandre and Simply Ned finished 1st and 2nd in last month’s Schloer Chase, with Tingle Creek hero Dodging Bullets, behind in third. The two of them are both improving youngsters and can improve past the old guard of Sizing Europe here with Simply Ned looking the each-way value at four-times the price of the favourite. A reverse forecast looks good value, too.
2 points each-way Simply Ned @ 10/1
1 point Reverse Forecast: Uxizandre & Simply Ned
William Hill Novice Chase, Kempton, Saturday 1.10pm
This 2-mile novice chase looks every bit as strong as the preceding Desert Orchid Chase, and 5 of the 7 runners have strong claims. The 162-rated Gods Own is officially best in at the weights and, after the Tom George had a winner here yesterday, he will be fancied to add this to his impressive CV. However, after his flop when fancied for the Tingle Creek, some of the others have the potential to progress past him.
Three Kingdoms and Vibrato Valtat have both looked impressive in novice chase this season and can’t be ruled out, however both Grandouet and Melodic Rendevouz were high-class hurdlers who could yet reach a similar level over fences. Melodic Rendevouz won the Elite Hurdle off a mark of 156 last season and receives 2lb from the previous winners, however Grandouet was rated as high as 166 and gets 6lb and 4lb respectively from the other fancied runners – and that’s enough to take a chance on him.
2 points Grandouet @ 5/1
Desert Orchid Chase, Kempton, Saturday 1.40pm
Balder Succes may have finished one place behind Hinterland in the Tingle Creek, but is fancied to reverse those placings as his record on flat-tracks is far superior to his form on undulating tracks. Claret Cloak could be his main rival, but any softening of the ground would dampen any enthusiasm for him.
3 points Balder Succes @ 9/4
Welsh National, Chepstow, Saturday
The defections of Harry Topper and Unioniste means that many of the market leaders have to carry 11-0 or more; a feat that only 8 of the last 33 runners have managed. Indeed, with 16 of those 33 runners carrying 10-5 or less, it may be taking a chance on Woodford County who carries just 10-3 after jockey Michael Nolan claims his 3lb allowance. He has won over the course and his trainer Phillip Hobbs, who has won the race before with Dream Alliance, looks to have had this in mind for sometime for his charge.
1 point each-way Woodford County @ 16/1