Will’s Wisdom – 29th December Special

Another cracking day’s racing. The ante-post zone will return tomorrow to take in today’s action at Leopardstown, Newbury and Limerick.




12.10 – 2m5f Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase (4yo+ 0-123): The market has sounded out last time out winners Just Get Cracking and Peacocks Street with both difficult to separate but there wasn’t really a compelling case for either of them and this looked trappy enough.



Advice: No bet.



12.45 – Pigsback.com Maiden Hurdle (5yo+): Castlebawn West had a penalty last time and was a creditable second so it’s understandable that he’s favourite but that form is not strong even considering that and Dream Conti might be the pick. A bumper winner at Fairyhouse last April, he was third behind Punchestown Champion Bumper winner Tornado Flyer in a maiden that has seen two subsequent winners including Cuneo on yesterday’s card.


Advice: 1 pt win Dream Conti (3/1 general)


1.20 – Advent Insurance Irish EBF Mares Hurdle (Grade 3) (4yo+): Limini is a worthy favourite after her reappearance third in the Hatton’s Grace and she should take the beating but she’s also very short at 4/7. Several of the new French intake have disappointed this season and Elimay has been off for 420 days so neither of the front two make huge amounts of appeal and Good Thyne Tara has struggled at more than listed level.


Advice: No bet.



1.55 – Neville Hotels Novice Chase (Grade 1) (4yo+): This has cut up and the Drinmore winner Delta Work will disappoint many if he doesn’t win here. He showed a great turn of pace to get ahead of Le Richebourg, who bolted up in the Racing Post Novice on the first day, and eh can beat other Gigginstown contenders Mortal, Blow By Blow, Judgement Day, and Nick Lost.  Ben Dundee needs to jump better than he did last time and Moonshine Bay is help by Mortal.


Advice: No bet.



2.30 – Ryanair Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+): We’ve not given Samcro any chances since his Cheltenham win but today might be the day for him. He should be fully fit after two runs, is weighted to turn around form with Bedrock, and posted one of his most impressive performances over this course and distance last season. Melon’s second to Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle is the form performance here although it remains to be seen how this race unfolds for him – he raised his game massively for the Champion and things didn’t drop right elsewhere for him. Sharjah picked up the pieces in the Morgiana Hurdle and for things to go so well again would be hugely fortunate. Supasundae, top class at all hurdling distances, should strip fitter for his comeback run behind Apple’s Jade. Bedrock, who overturned Samcro in the WKD Hurdle, looks overpriced and with a recent run 2013 Champion Hurdle third Petit Mouchoir would be seriously attractive.



Advice: 2 pts win Samcro (15/8 general)



3.05 – Virgin Media Business Irish EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-130): Milliner ought to be happier back down in trip than he was when second in a Listed event at Cork whilst Court Maid and Jack Dillinger’s progress is of obvious note but both of them have been found by the market. Gallant John Joe’s performance at Punchestown after a break was an impressive one and if there had to be a bet in this it would probably be him.

Advice: 1 pt each/way Gallant John Joe (8/1 general)


 3.40 – O’Driscoll O’Neil Insurance Brokers INH Flat Race (4-7yo): It has been a bumper week to forget for Willie Mullins and enthusim is tmepred about his charge Mount Leinster based on that, for all that his formbook so compelling, this is a watching brief here. In any case, he will do well to get the better of Killanery Bumper winner Meticulous, who mad a a big splash in colours not normally seen in this sphere.






12.05 – Betway “Farewell To Richard Osgood” Juvenile Hurdle (Class 3) (3yo): Always an interesting race but perhaps even more so after some of the results over the Christmas period. Alan King will be hoping to increase his juvenile hand with Running Cloud, who ran well in the Middle Distance final on the flat, and Praceps, who signed off with a win on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott when last seen. Legal History’s best flat form is respectable whilst Song For Somone sets a good standard to aim at. Fon’t forget Chikoko Trail and Annsam.


Advice: Watching brief.


12.40 – Betway “Introductory” Hurdle (Class 4) (4yo+): Nicky Henderson has a fine record in this race so it’s no surprise that impressive Newcastle winner Champagne Platinum is favourite after a taking debut win at Newcastle. However, this is a race stacked with potential and we ought to learn a great deal more about him here. Twin Star ended September rated 93 on the flat, Reverend Jacobs was a three time flat winner (end rating 92) and Percy’s World was also rated 89 and if either of those three transfer their flat ablity to hurdles they can put it upto him.


Advice: Watching brief.


1.15 – Betway Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) (For The Hallowe’en Trophy) (Class 3)(4yo+ 0-125): Another Crick has run well in two chase efforts but Swift Crusador was quite impressive when he won on his seasonal and stable debut at Sandown and would get the vote here. A 5lbs rise is entirely fair for that and there are less question markers for him than the others. Early Du Lemo hasn’t jumped a fence in two starts this season and Cruiseaweigh, coming back after a long absence, is interesting given that his form has worked out well. Ollie Vaar was carried off the track before things got going last time but others have shown more.


Advice: 1 pt win Swift Crusador (5/2 general)



1.55 – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+): Dragon D’Estruval didn’t stay three miles on his second UK start and this drop back in trip ought to help him plenty given how well he travelled. He looks a worthy favorite and there’s still plenty of promise in him – note that the second and fourth have come out of that race and won strong contests next time out. Coeur Blimey won a strong race for the track at Hereford last time out in impressive style and has to be feared whilst Unblinking was a wide margin winner at Warwick who should take a hand.


Advice: 1 pt win Dragon D’Estruval (5/2 general)



2.25 – Betway Mandarin Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-135): Reikers Island and Sandy Beach were impressive winners last time out and should take the beating upped 13 and 8lbs respectively but Ballydine might be better handicapped than the pair of them. He returned with a fine fifth in the Rehearsal Chase on his seasonal debut and the form of that was boosted when the one two also dominated the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby subsequently. This slight rise in trip could help him and he gets a narrow verdict.



Advice: 1 pt win Ballydine (5/1 general)


3.00 – Betway Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+): Much stronger than the market suggests although Champ’s destruction of a competitive handicap hurdle field does set a high standard here. However Grade 2 winners Coolanly and Alsa Mix were impressive last time and Brewin’Upastorm, Kateson and Getaway Trump are capable of throwing it down to the favorite.


Advice: Watching brief.



3.35 – Whenyerreadyfreddie has been terrific in three runs this season, with only Lil Rockefeller able to beat him in three starts, and his latest win at Ascot was boosted when Kildistart (getting 5lbs from him that day) went and won a very valuable Graduation Chase next time out. 2/1 is short, but fair. Polydora might find his extra stamina useful and Wild Blue Yonder is very well handicapped so this won’t be a gimme but he’s the outstanding candidate. Watch out for Walt, who roared back to form when a wide margin winner at Taunton.


Advice: No bet.




Very brief here. The Sky Sports Racing Launching January 1st Novice Hurdle (2.00) is worth keeping an eye on with a view to Cheltenham and it’s hard to pick any one of the six. Do DVR it though.