Four To Follow: Some Christmas Magic

‘Twas the Saturday before Christmas and all through the house, everyone was punting even the little mouse. Because it was the Long Walk and everyone wanted to see, Champ and Dashel and even Paisley! Plus three more on the card, so don’t sit in sorrow. Here’s this week’s pre-Christmas Four To Follow!



Christmas Champ

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2:25 – Long Walk Hurdle (Grade One) – Champ @ 11/2 (William Hill, Unibet, BetUK)

Champ has probably the best first time out record out of any horse in this race. Only last time, after a break of 110 days, at Aintree did he not keep up that trend. But never discount this horse, as his new found love for hurdling has made him much stronger. He won this race in 2021 first time out and there’s no reason for him to do it again here.

I also question why the market is discounting Paisley Park, did they not watch the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury? This race is that little bit longer than Newbury’s and he would have wanted every yard of it to win last time out. For two veterans’, who we know can perform to a high class on their day, Paisley Park should not be 13/2 (General).

The same can be said about the highest rated horse in the race, Dashel Drasher. I think many people forget his win in the Ascot Chase of 2021, and then went to find a more successful career over hurdles. Just because their ages are double digits shouldn’t mean their odds are. And on the back of a tough performance, at a track he likes, he should be shorter than 9/1 (William Hill, Betfred, BetUK).


Christmas Cards

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3:00 – Silver Cup H’cap Chase (Premier) – Blackjack Magic @ 9/2 (William Hill)

Blackjack Magic was fantastic at Wincanton and he can add another cup to his collection today. Whilst he has been raised six pounds, he is performing a pound below his true mark which puts him at a slight advantage. Trainer Anthony Honeyball wants the ground to be softer, but if he can beat a good going Threeunderthrufive on his not preferred ground, he can do it again.

In recent renewals, four double-priced winners have won the race, so you may have to look at horses that will have come on for a run. That’s exactly what Switch Hitter has done. A good performer on good-to-soft, he certainly will have come on for his run finishing third last time out on seasonal reappearance. Two pounds lower, he has a threat at 18/1 (William Hill, BetVictor, Boylesports).


Iberico The Lord

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3:35 – Exchange Trophy H’cap Hurdle (Premier) – Iberico Lord @ 11/4 (William Hill, BetUK)

Iberico Lord is possibly the most impressive handicap horse this season. His performance in the Greatwood Hurdle blew many away, and the form from Sonigino and Go Dante backs it up. If the five-year-old backs it up again, we may not see him again until the County Hurdle at the Festival. He looks to have the beating of the field today and can show another fantastic performance today.

Way down the market, Moveit Like Minnie makes some appeal, even though the rank outsider. He came close to beating Sonigino at Huntingdon last February and has steadily been progressing through the classes. Finn Lambert takes five pounds off him, so he remains a pound above his last winning mark at Huntingdon in November. There may be something at 25/1 (General).



Follow That Star

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12:55 – Betfred Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) – Lunar Discovery @ 6/1 (William Hill)

The ground at Haydock is heavy tomorrow, so mud lovers only need apply if you’re punting there. And one who caught my eye was Jimmy Moffat’s Lunar Discovery. She has a knack for heavy ground, winning on it three out of three times in her career. She’s markedly stepped up in class, but with the heavy ground to help her, her price holds a lot of value.

The very best of luck!

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