Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Boxing Day; Grands Crus and Knight Pass at Kempton and Bog Warrior at Leopardstown. Compare odds.
The WilliamHill.com Feltham Novices’ Chase is the first of three Grade 1’s at Kempton this afternoon and this year’s renewal is the best I can remember for sometime.
Both Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti are both greatly respected, but Grands Crus (2:00) has done everything right in two starts over fences to date and David Pipe’s grey promises to be even better given a lead for longer.
With Teaforthree and Mr Moonshine likely to set a searching gallop, the World Hurdle runner-up should have the race run to suit today and won’t be forced to take up the running too far from home.
There has been talk that he mightn’t like racing right-handed, but he’s only run this way round on three occasions and on two of those runs he chased home Wishfull Thinking and Sanctuaire (gave 16lbs).
Later on the card Knight Pass (3:40) is of great interest in the concluding handicap hurdle, with the better ground and step up in trip looking in his favour.
The dual bumper winner got off to the best possible start over timber, winning effortlessly at Exeter in November and he was sent off a very warm order for a Sandown novice on his latest start on Tingle Creek day.
He travelled stylishly again that day, but didn’t pick up in the rain-softened ground and finished only third. The form of this race will be advertised earlier in the day when the winner Tetlami runs in the opener and fourth home Tante Sissi runs in a mares contest at Wincanton.
A mark of 125 could well underestimate his ability and, if he does improve for the step up in trip, he should be involved in the finish of what looks a competitive affair.
Elsewhere, the ‘nap’ of the day goes to Bog Warrior (2:20) in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
Willie Mullins’s Blackstairmountain was a high-class hurdler who won with any amount in hand against lesser opposition first time up over fences, but the selection has looked an absolute natural over fences and should complete the hat-trick.
Tony Martin’s stable-star won the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase by 31 lengths last time and, though he drops back three furlongs this afternoon, that should not inconvenience the lightly-raced seven-year-old.
On his chasing debut at Navan in November, he beat Flemenstar easily by 7½ lengths over 2m and the runner-up came out and franked the form by winning by 19 lengths over the same course-and-distance a fortnight later. He looks potentially top-class under testing conditions.
Boxing Day selections:
2:00 Kempton: Grands Crus (11/8 Bet365 / Paddy Power)
2:20 Leopardstown: Bog Warrior (4/5 VC)
3:40 Kempton: Knight Pass (5/1 SportingBet)
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Last Year’s Tips Included 40 Leading Prospects: £499.80 profit to a level £10!
- AL FEROF won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 10-1
- BENSALEM won Stewart Family Handicap 5-1
- BOBS WORTH won A Bartlett 15-8, 4/4 for year
- CAPTAIN CHRIS won Arkle Trophy 6-1
- FIRST LIEUTENANT won Neptune Investment 7-1
- (plus Grade 1 in Ireland 16-1)
- JAMES DE VASSY won Lanzarote Hurdle 8-1
- LONG RUN won King George 9-2, Gold Cup 7-2
- OSCAR WHISKY won Aintree Hurdle 6-1
- Peddlers Cross (Fighting Fifth Hurdle)
- Medermit (Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase)
- FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Maghull Novices’ Chase)
- WISHFULL THINKING (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)