AS we head towards a New Year, our Boxing Day edition of Final Word brought you no less than 6 winners, 3 each from myself and Charlie… WE have had a few days away to spend time with our families and now return with a look at Friday’s racing in England and Ireland.
Were start with the ONLY All Weather meeting at Southwell before we get into the National Hunt fixtures….
Satchville Flyer(3.00) has been running over 7f and 1m recently and now drops back to 6f under Fran Berry, having been a 5 length runner up at this course. His last win over this trip was at Chepstow in July from a mark of 72, although his last 6f AW win was at Kempton back in May 2015, now well under that mark and could go well. While one at the other end of the spectrum is Dream Magic(3.30) who won at Wolverhampton over 1m 4f when stepping up from 1m. The 3YO Gelding won by 8 lengths and runs today under a penalty, keeping the same Pilot in Andrew Mullins….
Charlie – 3.30 – Although Rich has already mentioned Dream Magic in this race, my preference is for Star Ascending who’s previous two runs here have been 1st then 2nd both over today’s distance and at 11-4 seems a fair price.
Now, that is all from the AW flat sphere, we can get our teeth into the NH Cards and we start with the only NH Card in England at Doncaster, where the going is Good to Soft, Soft in places and they hold an Inspection at 7am….
In the opening race , the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, we see Cubswin(12.25) who won on Hurdle debut , before finishing 3rd of 8 when running under a penalty at Ludlow. Finished runner Up last time out at Fakenham to Gin and Tonic, when beaten by a neck although closing at the line, which was a handicap debut. Another looking to improve is Copain De Classe(1.30) for Paul Nicholls, who is a duel class 4 hurdle winning, when switched to chasing at Ascot last time out, finishing 3rd behind Benatar, who has since won twice, including a Grade 2 Chase at Ascot last time out.
Charlie – 2.05 High Jinx was fairly useful on the flat and makes hurdles debut here look very interesting for T D Easterby and at 5-1 could be a bit of value if fav doesn’t perform well.
WE now head across the sea to Ireland, where the Leopardstown Christmas Festival is in full swing …..
We have an interesting UK Raider, with Phil Kirby sending Lady Buttons(1.20) who was last seen at Bangor winning a 2m 1f Listed Chase by 1 & 3/4’s lengths from Dusky Legend. Now back over hurdles and stepping up to Grade 3. Runner up in a Class 1 Listed contest at Wetherby to La Bague Au Roi by 2 lengths, who has since won again, when beating Irish Raider Jer’s Girl at Kempton in a Listed contest.
Monalee(1.55) will be looking to build on chase debut success when stepping up to Grade 1, Henry De Bromhead’s charge made an exciting chase debut for the former Albert Bartlett runner up, when winning by 6 lengths from Any Second Now. Now she comes up against some decent chasers, with Shattered Love( 3 wins & 1 RU spot from 4 chase starts) Rathviden(4 wins & 2 RU from 8 chase starts) and Jury Duty( 2 wins 1 RU spot from 3 chase starts) will be looking to stop the novice making it to the winners enclosure.
And at 2.30, we have Faugheen the Machine, who’s only career defeat came at the hands of the late Nichols Canyon, with last two wins by 16 & 15 lengths respectively. The question is how far will be winning margin be??
Charlie –Jury Duty has won 2 chases from 3, although they were over 2m 6f the extra yardage shouldn’t be a problem here and will give the fav something to think about and at 9-1 is worth an Eachway play.
Now we head to Limerick for the final card of the day, with Willie Mullins looking to win the same race he won last season with Bernie Des Dieux, this season sends Kate Appleby Shoes(1.00) who makes season return and starts life in a Beginners Chase, having won 2 of her 4 hurdle starts and was last seen back in April pulling up in the Grade B Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown. The Grade 3 winning mare, will be looking to make a positive start in this sphere.
While Fabulous Saga(2.10) will be looking to add to the Grade 3 Stayers victory from last time out at Cork, when winning by what seemed half the track, but was just 70 lengths. with Danny Mullins retained for the ride, although Mr Mullins also saddles maiden hurdle winner Ainsi Va La Vie, a 2m 7f winner at Thurles last time in a double pronged attack.
That’s all for today folks, we will see what the next few days brings and if we like anything enough, then you will be sure to see us again….
All the Best – Charlie & Rich