Devoid of inspiration for a musical headline today, so we’ll just get on with a look at the top class fare offered by the meetings at Sandown and Aintree.
Highlight of the Esher card is the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at 2.25, which, in the absence of Altior sees Politologue installed as 13-8 favourite.
Winner of this race in 2017 and the reigning Champion Chaser, the 9-y-o has been the subject of bullish comments by his esteemed trainer and we should take the hint with a decent win bet.
Televised coverage kicks off with an absolute cracker of a race, the Henry VIII Novices Chase at 1.50, contested by a field of five.
We are slightly on the horns of a dilemma with this race as it features two of our ‘follow until beaten’ horses, Allmankind and Ga Law.
Whilst we are loath to desert Ga Law, after winning twice for the Preview, we think that Allmankind is something else and, providing it gets into rhythm, the opposition may not see which way it went. When the 4-y-o won at Warwick on chasing debut, Harry Skelton said they were going so fast he closed his eyes at some of the fences, but his mount never touched a twig.
Stand by for thrills, hopefully without the spills and take the 11-4.
The Betfair London National Chase at 3.00 has just seven runners, but with three places available and the market leaders opposable (ioho) we suggest ‘dutching’ with each way bets on Crosspark (11-2) & Shanroe Santos (8-1).
The Betfair Exchange December Handicap Hurdle at 3.35 completes the card and in this we are very sweet on the chances of Jolly’s Cracked It, which is available at 7-1.
Might be 11 going on 12, but Harry Fry‘s charge has only had 17 runs over hurdles and ran a belter first time out this season when a close fifth at Aintree over slightly further. This is a rare occasion when the horse is nearly as old as the jockey, as we have the services of Kevin (Wunderkind) Brogan so let’s have an each way bash, shall we?
A quality card at Aintree includes two races over the National fences, starting with the William Hill Becher Handicap Chase at 1.30.
Walk In The Mill has taken this race for the past two years and, after a pleasing prep, should be backed to achieve a three-peat at 11-2.
At a longer price, we give a decent squeak to Smooth Stepper, which looks to have a fair chance on the book and is well worth a modest investment at an attractive 28-1.
The Juvenile Listed race at 2.05 has a load of capable Flat horses making their hurdles debuts and is a candidate for the Spanish Archer for betting purposes, so we move on to the William Hill Many Clouds Chase at 2.40.
The obvious starting point here is Santini, which just failed to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the trainer has expressed reservations about both fitness and track suitability, so we will pin our hopes on Frodon and dear Bryony.
Best performance of the 8-y-os career to date last time out, when destroying the field off 164 in a Cheltenham handicap, with the Ladbroke winner Cloth Cap a well beaten third. On the grounds that we’ll at the very least get a run for our wonga, we suggest a win bet at 11-4.
This just leaves the William Hill Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at 3.15, which has a field of a mere 18.
Netherlands time again – back Sametegal each way at 10-1 and Beau Bay each way at 22-1 please.
Ay, ay – that’s yer lot.
Politologue 2.25 Sandown 4pts win @ 13-8
Allmankind 1.50 Sandown 3pts win @ 11-4
Crosspark 3.00 Sandown 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (3 places Ladbrokes, Coral)
Shanroe Santos 3.00 Sandown 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (3 places Ladbrokes, Coral)
Jolly’s Cracked It 3.35 Sandown 2pts e/w @ 7-1 (4 places Betfair/Skybet)
Walk In The Mill 1.30 Aintree 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (5 places Hills, Skybet)
Smooth Stepper 1.30 Aintree 1pt e/w @ 28-1 (5 places Hills, Skybet)
Frodon 2.40 Aintree 3pts win @ 11-4
Sametegal 3.15 Aintree 1.5pts e/w @ 10-1 (6 places Skybet)
Beau Bay 3.15 Aintree 0.5pts e/w @ 22-1 (5 places)