Usually kept strictly for Saturday National Hunt racing, the champ.ie #8PointstoPlay tipping challenge has now been opened up for a series of special days such as St. Stephens Day and the Cheltenham Festival (All four days).
The mud was flying at Ascot last weekend and it proved difficult for all 6 featured pundits involved as Colm Finlay (BetXS) +42.5pts just about hung onto his lead.
As we always say, it only takes one winner for the pendulum to swing. Let’s hope the lads can kick off Christmas racing on a high (Boxing Day/St.Stephen’s Day).
Colm Finlay #8PointstoPlay score : +42.5pts
2:30 Kempton- Epatante (7/2) 8pt win
I was unimpressed by Fusil Raffles in his seasonal bow at Wincanton only beating Grand Sancy by 1/2L despite getting 3lbs. Fair enough you could say he’ll come one for the run but you could also say the same about Epatante who was a more comprehensive in her seasonal bow in a listed hurdle at Newbury. She gets mares allowance of 7lbs off the fav and I’ll take Berry Geraghty all day over Nico De Boinville. This is one of the rare time’s I’ll go all in on the one selection.
Alan Doyle #8PointstoPlay score : +23pts
12:40 Leopardstown – Concertista (4/1) 8pt win
Travelled superbly throughout the mares novice hurdle in Cheltenham last March and only lost out by jumping left at the last and then hanging right going up the hill even though continuing to go head to head with the eventual winner. Willie’s horses normally take a run to get going with the winners kicking in from this point on in the season. He is 29% win ratio for the last 14 days and I expect that to improve over the Christmas period, while the step back to 2m should also suit this mare who has a flat pedigree being by Nathaniel.
Barry Doyle #8PointstoPlay score : +12.6pts
3:05 – Lostintranslation (2/1) 4pt win
Lostintranslation is a horse I’ve just fallen in love with this year and I honestly believe he could be the first horse to land the one million pound bonus and hat-trick of Betfair Chase, King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup. Today may be his biggest test of the season, facing Cyrname with conditions in his favour & last years King George winner cannot be discounted either with a solid run under his belt at Down Royal.
Sticking with the west country horse, he looks to have everything you need in a proper Gold Cup horse, he jumps, hunts away and stays all day. He proved all those things when beating Bristol De Mai at Haydock. I believe he could be brilliant and will outstay the other two.
1:10 Leopardstown – Clemencia (13/2) 2pt win
Brendan Duke is always enthusiastic when it comes to his horses but I do think he may have a smart juvenile when it comes to Clemencia. The 3yo son of Pour Moi was only rated 64 on the flat but jumps a hurdle like he could take much higher rank in this sphere. There was alot to like about his Cork win, his jumping was slick and he hit the line hard like a good horse with some useful enough sorts well behind. This is obviously a step up in class and there will be plenty of pace on. I’ll take a chance win only.
12:40 Leopardstown – Concertista (4/1) 1pt win
A mare in my 20 Jumpers to Follow who disappointed at Fairyhouse on her first start of the year. Willie’s weren’t flying at the time and I’m expecting a different girl today.She showed tones of gears at the festival on first start for the yard in March and 2m around Leopardstown should suit. Lovely looker.
1:55 Kempton – Danny Whizzbang (5/1) 1pt win
Danny Whizzbang surprised a couple when winning at John Francome Novices Chase at Newbury on his first start over fences. He’ll improve plenty for his first run and I thought his jumping for extremely tidy for a debutant. Harry Cobden who rides Mastertommytucker may well have chosen the wrong horse for the stable. Paul Nicholls fires two darts in a race he has yet to win since the race was named after Kauto Star in 2010.
No bet, but a small mention for:
I hope Fusil Raffles does the business in the Christmas Hurdle. This years renewal looks strong with 3 runners from the Henderson stable along with many others with chances. If Fusil wins well he’ll surely shorten up to go favourite for the Champion Hurdle at which point the advised 16/1 ante- post for the Champion Hurdle will look ok.
Ronan Groome #8PointstoPlay score : -5pts
Wetherby 2:10 – Top Ville Ben (3/1) 2pts win
Phil Kirby’s stable star did everything but win latest, leading his Rehearsal Chase rivals a merry dance before getting tired late on. Dual course winner so sure to do better here and can defy 3lb higher mark from another positive front running ride.
Limerick 2:05 – Pivotal Flame (15/2) 2pts win
Progressive on last four runs, the latest two out of mares company where the form has worked out nicely so should go well here back against her own sex.
Leopardstown 2:55 – Trainwreck (8/1) 1pt win
Chase handicap debutant can go well off opening mark, especially at this course where he did well to win at over hurdles.
Limerick 2:40 – Castlebrook (14/1) 1pt win
The match is Samcro – Faugheen but both of those don’t completely convince for different reasons and this horse, always well regarded in the Potts colours, can go well larger significant run out of novice company latest.
Kempton 2:30 – Ch’Tibello (9/1) 1pt win
Nice run last time, trying to give weight away to some useful types on seasonal debut. Can come on from that so should go well here.
Kempton 3:05 – Clan Des Obeaux (9/2) 1pt win
Last years winner ran well on seasonal debut and always seems to come on from it, so Down Royal second is actually quite positive. Won this in a canter last year and although this seems a better race, can’t help but feel he continues to be underestimated.
Thomas Coyle #8PointstoPlay score : – 9.7pts
1.00 Down Royal -Well Joey (6/1) 2pt win
Looks well handicapped on chase form and had an excuse on his last run in the UK. He has freshened up and this doesn’t look a strong contest should take a bit of beating!!
3.20 Down Royal – Railway Hurricane (6/1) 2pt win
Won his only start in the pt to pt sphere in Lisronagh and was snapped up by Gavin Cromwell for £58,000 he won well that day in what looked a competitive event now with a leading trainer he might give the fav a lot to think about. Ridden by local lad Joey Dunne who’s coming from the pony racing scene want to wish Joey all the best and he’ll be a name to look out for!!
1.45 Leopardstown – The Mouse Doctor (9/1) 1pt ew
Looks well handicapped on the basis of his win off 75 on the flat last week in Dundalk has a light weight in this coming in off 10st 5lbs. Tony Martin enjoys a good handicap winner at the festivals and all the fingers point to me that this could be the one!!
2.05 Limerick – Bay Exhibition (7/2) 2pt win
Looked like she was going to play a big hand when coming down 2 out at Navan LTO. She now goes in to mares company and taking a very valuable 7lbs off her back with Conor McNamara on board. This former heavy ground pt to pt winner should go close.