#8PointstoPlay – Saturday Tipping Challenge – 21st December

Leaderboard 21st Dec.jpgNow 8 weeks into the champ.ie #8PointstoPlay Saturday tipping challenge and Colm Finlay (BetXS) still leads the way on +50.5pts.

Last weekend was all about Ronan Groome and Barry Doyle when Warthog landed the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at odds of 10/1. Alan and Colm dropped points whilst Batterstown trainer Thomas Coyle is struggling to shake off his latest bout of seconditis.

Don’t forget it only takes one winner for the pendulum to swing in this game. Lets hope the lads can land big ahead of Christmas!

Colm Finlay - ProfileColm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score : +50.5pts

1:00 Haydock – Rosie and Millie (13/2) 4pts win

Win LTO in a maiden hurdle when 11/10 fav at Ayr over 2m on soft ground last month. Good early morning market vibes for this one chances again today and I like her chances in an open but competitive listed mares novices hurdle.

2:40 Haydock – Daklondike (4/1) 4pts win

Won this in an absolute mud bath 12 months ago and conditions look to be similar again this year. He is 6lb higher now but I think that’s still within him and he be expected to come on for recent outing in the ladbrokes trophy. Yard had a winner yesterday too so but of stable form in his favour too. Being brave today with two horses on the nose.

Alan DoyleAlan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score : +31pts

2:40 Haydock – Daklondike (4/1) 8pt win

Newbury didn’t get the rain I was hoping would come for the Ladbrokes Trophy card but it is ideal conditions underfoot for Daklondike today. Previous course winner too and no problem with 3m+. 3 from 6 on soft ground and 3 from 3 on heavy ground, the 4/1 on offer seems like a festive steal!

Barry Doyle - ProfileBarry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score : +17.8pts

1:15 Ascot – Paloma Blue (11/4) 3pt win

148 rated hurdler who was expected to make up into an Arkle horse for Henry De Bromhead last season. It never seemed to click for the 7yo son of Stowaway over fences last season but he did put in an encouraging round at Gowran Park on his seasonal reappearance on heavy ground. Looks like a good opportunity in a weak race.

3:35 Ascot – Tameroc Du Mathan (7/1) 1pt win

Won as a 3yo in France but issues have held him up since arriving to Paul Nicholls. It may be a big ask to win, first time in a good handicap like this. That being said, his eye-catching effort behind Master Debonair LTO is looking like decent form. Could be anything and I’ll take a small chance win only.

3:35 Ascot – Whoshotthesheriff (11/1) 1pt ew

Won twice since transfering from Gordon Elliott to Philip Kirby. Travelled like the best horse before finishing second to Bold Plan at Haydock in November (Both came well clear). Ascot is likely to suit and conditions shouldn’t be an issue. 4Ibs hike looks fair and there could be so much more to come.

3:00 Ascot – Acting Lass (9/1) 1pt ew

Held up on seasonal return over C&D, Acting Lass was never put into the race when finishing 9th (27L behind Vinndication). Harry Fry’s 8yo stepped forward at Chepstow LTO in similar conditions and showed guts to come back after clattering the 4th last. Looks on a workable mark still (147), lovely jumper.

Ronan GroomeRonan Groome #8PointstoPlay score : +3pts

1:50 Ascot – Kobrouk (10/1) 3pt win

Former French-trained 8yo ran a race full of promise on his seasonal debut over hurdles at Huntingdon and can run a big race returning to fences. Some of his form in France is top class and the majority of it came over intermediate distances on heavy or soft ground, so today’s conditions should suit. Racing off 145, he has any amount of scope to improve now – only third for Nicky Henderson, second start of the season, second start since a wind op, return soft ground and a return to a longer trip. He can put it up to the unexposed pair at the top of the market.

3:35 Ascot – Monsieur Lecoq (10/1) 2pt win
Five-year-old continues to progress, winning Welsh Champion Hurdle on seasonal debut and then big run to be close third to Harambe in the Greatwood, fighting on admirably having pulled early. Fourth in the International Hurdle last weekend was a better effort than it looked (held up off a slow pace and then flew home late) and will be suited to this big field off an unchanged mark.

2:40 Haydock – Top Wood (17/2) 2pt win
In a race where the majority have a question to answer regarding their most recent start, this 12-year-old arguably produced a career best when second at Ascot. Seems to have continued his excellent form from last spring and today’s conditions shouldn’t be a problem considering he won a good handicap hurdle on heavy ground at this course earlier in his career.

3:00 Ascot – Crievehill (15/2) 1pt win
Something of a revelation this season with two wins out of two runs and most impressive last time out at Haydock when much too strong for Sharp Response. Another career best needed here but thriving and although he takes on some Ascot proven horses here, connections had option of going back to Haydock for Tommy Whittle but come here instead, which suggests there not too worried about the course.

Thomas Coyle - ProfileThomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score : – 5.7pts

3:35 Ascot – Whoshotthesheriff (11/1) 2pt ew

Looks to be on a nice mark after finishing second to Bold Plan at Haydock LTO. Only raised 4Ibs for that and can go close here if he settles a big better back down in trip.

2:30 Thurles – De Mazzaro (10/3) 2pt ew

Fell in the Greatwood hurdle after getting off the mark over hurdles at Galway in Soft ground in October. Still open to progression for local trainer Tom McCourt, should run well.

Andrew Blair WHite ProfileAndrew Blair White #8PointstoPlay score : -21.63pts

12.10 Thurles – Captain CJ (10/3) – 2 Pt Win
A horse who has shown a lot of ability in chasing home some extremely smart types in Beginners Chases this year. He has found a more forgiving option today and one where he should be bang there to challenge at the end of the race. His style of running would suggest 3m should be within range and he should be right there.

2.40 Haydock – Daklondike (4/1) – 2 Pt Win
Last year’s winner of this race showed an extremely willing attitude to win that day and seemed to relish the testing conditions. He seems to enjoy Haydock and perhaps this has been the race in mind for him, given a few lackluster efforts recently over obstacles. He should stay well and if his jumping holds up, he will be bang there.

1.40 Newcastle – Glittering Love (5/2) – 4 Pt Win
A gelding that really made his name for himself last year when rattling off 4 Chase wins in a row after a string of PtP efforts. He returns on a high enough mark but I think he still has a lot of scope for improvement and I would be disappointed not to see him involved within the business end of the race. Has to concede race fitness but best horse in the race in my opinion.