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Matt Chapman: Start the New Year off by raiding Paddy’s coffers , Yeeehaaa!

Some fast improvers and old reliables can start your year off on a high.

by Matt Chapman | December 31, 2014

HAPPY New Year everyone. Here’s hoping you all have a great one and of course there is only one wish I can make for 2015 – to ruin Paddy’s profits. You hear me Paddy?

Let’s start trying to do that straight away on January 1st, and there’s some top class racing at Cheltenham to enjoy plus a couple of events at Musselburgh to check out.

Let’s start with the 1.20pm at Cheltenham, which is the 2m5f novices’ Chase. The one to be on is PTIT ZIG, who was a high class hurdler who has taken well to fences. Stamina has to be taken on trust, but his class should bring him through.

Next up at Musselburgh is the Premier Chase at 1.35pm, and I’d hope for a good run from WORKBENCH for the impressive Dan Skelton yard. He’s disappointed the last twice, but has taken on decent opposition and if he produces his best will be hard to beat.

Fallers MBS

The 2m5f handicap chase at Cheltenham (1.55pm) is a toughie, and most of the leading contenders are hard to predict. I’m not giving up on CHAMPION COURT, who I am sure can win off his current mark and who might get an easy enough time on the lead on this occasion. He’s still got ability, and has dropped to 148 from a high of 157. Fingers crossed he bounces back with Conor Shoemark taking off a tasty 3lb.

Will Lightening Strike at Musselburgh?

Back to Musselburgh for the 2.10 which is a handicap hurdle over 2m, and I like the fast-improving LIGHTENING ROD who may be able to cope with a 6lb rise for a fine success last time. He’s up to 140 now having been on 120 when beaten at Wetherby at the start of the season. That said he’s getting better all the time and can score again.

The 3m handicap hurdle at Cheltenham (3m) will be a true test, and it won’t be easy for ULZANA’S RAID to give weight away off a mark of 147. That said, this horse is a tough stick who is getting better and better and did really well to touch off Big Easy last time. That is top class handicap form, and he might be able to improve again and deny the lurker Southfield Vic.

Rock On Ruby

Finally at Cheltenham check out the extended 2m4f hurdle at 3.05pm in which Barry Geraghty has ditched Beat That in favour of the race-fot Vaniteux. That can’t have been an easy decision, but it suggests the former will improve for an outing. In any case, I like the former Champion Hurdle hero ROCK ON RUBY, who may still be good enough to land an event like this having won well for this blog last time.

So here’s hoping 2015 is a profitable year, with plenty of Yeeehaaas!

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