A New Year feast of televised racing this afternoon, from Cheltenham and Musselburgh, although, with the newly branded RacingTV now saddled with the Irish meetings, we fear most of the viewing will be ‘split screen’.
Most valuable race of the day is the Download The Betbright App Handicap Chase at 2.00 at Cheltenham, with a ‘dead eight’ field and joint favourites at 9-2. Asoand Divine Spearare the two beasties in question but we go right to the bottom of the weights for our each way selection, Dustin Des Mottes.
Freely translated as ‘Dustin The Clod’, Dr Newland‘s inmate won a competitive chase when trained in France and has run two stormers for its current yard off what has turned out to be a very handy handicap mark. With Charlie Hammond taking off a valuable 5lbs, this should be backed each way at 7-1.
The handicap hurdle at 2.35 has such a convoluted title that we can’t be asked to type it, but we can be asked to recommend an each way bet on Aux Ptits Soins at 5-1.
Dan Skelton acquired this 9-y-o from Paul Nicholls quite a while a go, but a slight tendon injury kept it off the track for he whole of last season. This former Coral Cup winner showed the ability is still intact, however, with a storming fifth at Newbury a month ago, a run which will bring it on leaps and bounds. With at least four places on offer, this represents a bet ‘par excellence’.
Coverage starts with the Betbright Dipper Novices’ Chase at 1.25, in which we have a rematch between Defi Du Seuil and Black Op, priced up at 3-1 and 7-2 respectively. With DDS saddled with a penalty and Black Op reported to have benefited greatly for the run, we take the latter to triumph today. Have a win bet, please.
The Dornan Engineering Relabel Hurdle at 3.10 sees Wholestone return to its beloved Cheltenham and 11-8 is the best price you can get.
In the hope that Clynewill also fall in love with this track on its first visit and will like good ground, which it has never tried before either, we suggest an each way bet at a more palatable 11-2.
Up at Musselburgh, just two races are on view, starting with the Betway Auld Reekie Handicap Chase at 1.40.
Upsilon Bleu has finished a close second in this race for the past 2 years, off marks of 140 and 142 and, off 137 this year, we’ll go for third time lucky at 11-4.
At 2.15 the Betway Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle is notable for the bad play on words in the title, but it’s not a bad race as well, with a field of 10, headed at 7-2 by the five-timer seeking Chica Buena.
Good though this horse is, as of midnight last night it’s not a 3-y-o anymore and the loss of the wfa allowance as well as the rise for its last win may just scupper its chances.
We prefer an each way punt on Ian Jardine‘s new arrival Night Of Glory at 7-1. Last seen contesting the Cesarewitch for Andrew Balding off a mark of 86, its previous hurdle form puts it well in today off just 121 and should give Bruce Lynn a good spin round.
Now off to prepare to watch Bully Boy thrash the Green Machine – or not.
Dustin Des Mottes 2.00 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Aux Ptits Soins 2.35 Cheltenham 3pts e/w @ 5-1 (6 places Hills)
Black Op 1.25 Cheltenham 2pts win @ 7-2
Clyne 3.10 Cheltenham 1pt e/w @11-2 (2 places)
Upsilon Bleu 1.40 Musselburgh 2pts win @ 11-4
Night Of Glory 2.15 Musselburgh 2pts e/w @ 7-1