The Festive season is in full swing and we all know that means. More expenses!
But if we can get Paddy to pay for the pressies this year I am up for that, so let’s find a few winners this weekend. You hear me Paddy?
We kick off with the Grade 3 Becher Chase at Aintree (1.30pm) – a wide open heat. The one I like CHANCE DU ROY is proven over the big fences
He was sixth behind Pineau De Re in the Grand National and won this race 12 months ago, so there is every chance he has been laid out for it again. He’s not had a run and is 6lb higher in the weights than last year – but the master trainer Philip Hobbs is in great form and can get one ready.
The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown has a small – but select – field. IRISH SAINT (1.50pm) jumped really well when scoring at the track last time and the horse he beat, Chris Pea Green has won since.
Worth a few quid
Sam Twiston-Davies has chosen this Paul Nicholls runner over the iffy finisher Vibrato Valtat and he will be better suited too the ground than Court Minstrel. Dunraven Storm looks the big danger.
LEVIATHAN (2.25pm) is worth a few quid in the handicap hurdle and was much improved at Ascot last time when beating Sweet Deal. The Venetia Williams horses are in great form, and he can cope with a rise in the weights.
The big race of the day for the purists is the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown. It provides a huge opportunity for a horse a fraction below top class with Sprinter Sacre and Sire de Grugy absent
I am taking a chance with SOMERSBY (3pm), who is not the most consistent and is getting on a bit. But he has Tony McCoy on board and he did chase home Sire de Grugy in the Tingle Creek last year. He’s also a Grade 1 and Grade 2 winner at Sandown. He can reward each-way backers.
Finally, we head back to Aintree for the Grand Sefton over the big National fences. It’s tricky – but there was a sign last time that CHAMPION COURT (3.15pm) was coming back to form. If he enjoys these fences out front he could take some pegging back. He’s speculative -but worth chancing.
So enjoy another cracking day’s racing and here’s to a few Yeeehaaas!