HORSE RACING: Charlie McCann reckons Punchestowns is set for new year’s day glory at Cheltenham whilst he also highlights two other fancies on Saturday’s cards at Sandown and Folkestone.
A wonderful card to greet the New Year at Cheltenham tomorrow with Punchestowns likely to take all the beating in the Grade 2 Dipper Chase. His stablemate Long Run was most impressive in the Feltham on Boxing Day and Punchestowns put his Festival credentials on the line against a small but select field. I have always believed this intermediate trip of 2m 4f will be Punchestowns optimum distance and he merits nap material.
Jass (1.05) travels down south from the Cleveland stable of Keith Reveley and he will relish the extended three and a quarter mile trip. Progressive Any Currency is the danger looking for his third win from his last fourth starts for Martin Keighley.
The Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle is the highlight of Sandown’s Saturday card. Nicky Henderson has three in the race at the five-day entry stage and the hope is that his unbeaten Oscar Whisky is given the green light.
If Folkestone goes ahead I would be very keen on the prospects of The Jazz Musician in the Beginners Chase at 2.15.
The Sussex National is Sunday’s feature event but that marathon looks impossible to fathom and my eye is taken by Sebastiano in the 2.55. A 2lb rise for his narrow defeat by subsequent dual Chase winner Noun De La Thinte looks extremely fair and the hope is that the trainer’s son Joshua Moore can take off a valuable 7lbs.