JUMPS racing begins to get back to something like normality this week with Wednesday’s cards at Newbury and Bangor-On-Dee looking choc-full of promising prospects.
Fairyhouse also stages a fantastic meeting where a number of classy performers are due to dip their hooves into the mud, headed by star hurdlers Solwhit and Hurricane Fly in the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace.
The first of my advised bets is indeed running in the Emerald Isle and it’s Gordon Elliott’s Toner D’Oudairies who holds very strong claims in the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle (11.50).
This 3-year-old gelding has been mentioned repeatedly in all the right places over the last month so it will be little surprise to see him add to his 6 length success last time and again atone for his 35 length defeat the time before that. Two miles on soft ground is right up this ex-French youngster’s street and if he does line up, I wouldn’t be looking at anything else in the race. Fearless Falcon has an outside chance of chasing him home.
I couldn’t let this column pass without mentioning the highlight at Newbury, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase where Twist Magic looks sure to line-up as favourite. Backing such an erratic horse at a short price wouldn’t be my idea of fun but then again Breedsbreeze and Master Medic are returning from long lay-offs whilst Deep Purple has to prove that he’s as good as he once was. Therefore I can only conclude that Twist Magic will probably win but at the forecast price, doesn’t look a viable bet.
On the contrary, a horse that I’d feel extremely confident of backing is 3-year-old grey Albertus Pictor (3.25), trained by the master that is Sir Mark Prescott.
I’ve been waiting for this horse to surface again after his victory in a maiden two weeks ago as he’s just the type his trainer excels with – a well-bred, scopey youngster who has won his maiden but won’t have been rated too harshly. As it happens, hi mark of 73 looks very attractive, especially when his capable apprentice rider Rosie Jessop will take off another five pounds.
I’d be amazed if he doesn’t improve again for the step up in trip and I just can’t see him getting beaten by very moderate opposition.
Also at Lingfield I expect Bob Cowell’s March On Beetroot (1.05) to go very close to winning after his highly encouraging run on debut when second to a more experienced rival.
This power-packed juvenile stood out against other juveniles last time and providing he takes to Lingfield as well as he took to Wolverhampton, he should win this before going on to better things. He’s definitely one to keep your eye on over the winter.
Finally, two other horses that I fancy to run very over at Fairyhouse are Willie Mullins’ unexposed Zaidpour and another of Gordon Elliott’s in Jessies Dream., but on balance they can’t be advised at confident betting propositions.
Wednesday, December 15
11.50 (Fairy) Toner D’oudairies
1.05 (Ling) March On Beetroot
3.25 (Ling) Albertus Pictus (NAP)