Wetherby, 26th December
My first ride on Boxing Day is Galia Des Liteaux in the mares’ novices’ hurdle (12.27). She won her only point-to-point in Ireland in October and she’s has settled in well. She’s been very straightforward at home; she jumps nicely and looks like a real stayer. Hopefully she can kick off Boxing Day with a good start. She should go very close.
Jersey is a really good-looking horse by Presenting who makes his first start in a handicap hurdle (1:35). He’s a horse we’ve always thought is a lot better than what he’s shown, but some just take a bit of time to get the hang of things. He’s going nicely at home, the step up to two and a half miles will suit. Hopefully he can leave his form behind, he should be very competitive.
We run Debece in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (14.10), his first run back after a bit of a break. He’s done loads of work and has been pleasing us at home. I’m pretty sure he won’t need the run but he’s running in a very competitive race. He’s a good horse on his day, although it’s going to be a big ask to win this first time out.
Unexpected Party comes back to Wetherby for another handicap hurdle (14:45). Things have been going well for him of late, he ran a really good race at Cheltenham last time having won here the time before. He looks to have an excellent chance and all being well he should go very close. He’s been doing everything well at home.
Market Rasen, 26th December
Bridget has four rides at Market Rasen, where Tokay Dokey looks to hold a good chance in the handicap hurdle (13:05). He bumped into an improving type at Warwick last time. He’s been good at home since and hopefully he’s got a favourite’s chance.
Seven No Trumps (13:40) did well down at Lingfield on his first start over fences last month. He’s fairly lightly raced and there’s plenty of improvement in him. He’s been working nicely at home and he should have a decent shout in this.
Kempton, 26th December
This could be the strongest King George (15:05) we’ve seen for a while. You’ve got the Gold Cup winner in there, past King George winners, up and coming young horses – it looks like a proper Christmas special.
I think Paul Nicholls will have Clan Des Obeaux in the form of his life, fresh and well. That’s how he likes to be, but you’re taking on the Gold Cup winner in Minella Indo, who has a run under his belt. There are others in there, like Chantry House and Frodon, but if I had to pick one, it would be hard to get off Minella Indo.
The Christmas Hurdle (14:30) sees the rematch between Epatante and Not So Sleepy after they dead heated in the Fighting Fifth. Epatante loves it round the track and gets the 7lb mares’ allowance, so I think she’ll take all the beating.
Finally, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe!