12th December Onwards – Horse Racing Tips
December 11, 2017
As the snow began to fall last weekend, jump meetings at Aintree and Chepstow were almost cancelled due to inclement weather.
As they say in show business, however, the show must go on, and both of these meetings went ahead as planned on Saturday. This was great news for the thousands of race-goers who travelled across the length and breadth of the country, while it should also offer hope to those planning to attend one of the 18 flat and jump race meeting scheduled to take place the next week.
In this post, we’ll look ahead to some of the best race meetings scheduled for the week ahead, and appraise the runners and riders that will be competing for success:
Lingfield, Tuesday 12th December
We start with a seven race meeting at Lingfield, which will take place on Tuesday, 12th December. This is a flat race meeting, and one that will see a number of exceptional runners and trainers competing throughout the afternoon.
The pick of these races is the Betway Dash Handicap, which is a class 2 event in which 10 select runners will complete. There’s a cheque of £12,602 available for the winner, while the race itself will take place across just five furlongs and six yards.
The early favourite is likely to be David O’Meara’s Alsvinder, with this four year old colt having been in exceptional form of late. He has won two of his last three flat race outings, including a superb performance at Chelmsford when he vanquished a competitive field of 11 at odds of 5/2. He also won over a similar distance last time out at Wolverhampton at the beginning of November, and will fancy his chances of prevailing at Lingfield.
If Alsvider doesn’t win, then opposing trainer John Butler may have something to do with this. He has two high quality runners competing in this race, with Come on Dave fancied to at least place in a field of 10. This eight-year old gelding won last time out over the same Lingfield course in November, and certainly knows how to deliver on the polytrack surface.
The six-year old Piazon is Butler’s other runner, with this slightly inconsistent gelding having won three out of four races between February and October this year. He only placed tenth out of 13 runners at Southwell last time out, however, and while he represents a good outside bet it’s hard to determine how he will perform from one race to another.
Leicester, Wednesday 13th December
We switch to jump racing on Wednesday, with a six race meeting at Leicester scheduled to take place. The going is expected to be soft here, and this will create challenging conditions for the numerous runners and riders.
The Champion Groundstaff Winners Handicap Hurdle is expected to be the standout race, with this Class 3 race set to take place over two miles and four furlongs. There are 15 evenly matched runners in contention to win here too, each of which will compete for a first prize of £6,330.
We like the look of the five year-old gelding Early Retirement, who has won two of his last three outings over the hurdles. Trained by Caroline Bailey, he won over the exact same distance (and in similar conditions) at Southwell in October, while he produced a similar performance at the same course back in March.
Jonjo O’Neill’s Pop Rockstar is another key contender here, with this five-year old gelding having already won twice over the hurdles in December. He was particularly impressive on soft ground last time out at Wetherby, where he prevailed in a strong field of 13 over a three mile course. There is a sense that he can be a slow starter, however, so he may struggle over the slightly shorter distance at Leicester.
Warwick, Thursday 14th December
Thursday sees an intriguing, seven-race jump meeting take place at Warwick. There’s a diverse range of races here, with the 13:25 M-Tec Consulting Lady Godiva Mares’ Novices’ Chase arguably the pick of the bunch.
This Class 1 race will traverse Warwick’s full, two mile and four furlong course, while a total of 11 runners will compete for a healthy first prize of £14,238.
In terms of potential front-runners, Nicky Henderson’s Casablanca Mix is an obvious stand-out. This five-year old mare will enter the race in excellent form, having placed in each of her last three steeplechase outings and won impressively at Huntingdon on 25th November. That triumph came over an almost identical distance, so it’s likely that he’ll start this race as the narrow favourite.
David Pipe’s Shaama Grise may also come into contention, even though this five-year old mare has failed to win a race over the hurdles since January. She has finished a close second in each of her last three outings, however, including her last steeplechase run at Plumpton on 4th December. She’ll certainly last the course, and probably represents a solid each way bet given the quality of the field and the likely conditions.
The intriguingly-named Lady Buttons, trained by Philip Kirby, is another runner to look out for here. She has performed exceptionally well in each of her last two hurdle and steeplechase races, winning impressively at Bangor in November and placing second in a competitive field of eight at Wetherby just 11 days previously. It’s arguable that this seven-year old mare performs better over longer distances, so she could well produce one of her best performances at Warwick this week.
If you’re interested in a little more of an outside bet, you should look no further than the six-year old mare Ms. Parfois. Trained by Anthony Honeyball, this horse is as inconsistent as she is talented and has won two of her last four races over the hurdles. So, while she struggled at Uttoexter last time out, she’s more than capable of competing over this distance and actually won in similar conditions at Warwick back in January.