It’s the first blog of 2016, so of course here’s to wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Errrrrm, accept of course Paddy. Paddy, here’s hoping you have a shocking time. Sorry!
Let’s get stuck straight into the New Year’s action, and where better to start than at Cheltenham.
The 1.20pm is the Grade 2 Dipper novices’ chase, and the one to be on is AUBUSSON () and Lizzie Kelly, who was so good for us on Tea for Two at Kempton.
Aubusson was a 150+ rated hurdler who looked good over fences at Uttoxeter last time. He stays this trip of an extended 2m4f really well and can land a truly hot heat.
There’s a Grade 3 handicap chase at Cheltenham at 1.55pm, and the one I like is TENOR NIVERNAIS () for Venetia Williams.
Having tipped Village Vic in this column last time it’s hard to oppose him, but he’s up 8lb and Tenor Nivernais might just prefer the heavy ground. Back the selection eachway.
The handicap hurdle at Cheltenham at 2.30pm is over nearly 3m and looks impossible. Chuck a few quid eachway on BILLY DUTTON (), who stays well in heavy ground and is in fair form for Chris Down.
Also at Cheltenham it’s the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at 3.05pm, and it’s a race very much of speed against stamina. I’m giving WHISPER () another chance for Nicky Henderson, although he ran a shocker first time this season.
Over at Musselburgh there’s a big handicap chase at 1.35pm, and I expect the consistent INDIAN TEMPLE () to at least hit the frame for Tim Reed. He’s rather in the grip of the handicapper, but will give us a run.
Finally, have a look at the handicap hurdle at Musselburgh at 2.10pm. If eight go to ppost have a few quid eachway on PEARL CASTLE (), who hasn’t run over hurdles for a while but is fir off the Flat for Karl Burke.
So best of luck. Let’s bring in the New Year with some Yeeehaaas!