2.10 RSA Chase
Le Mercurey was purchased with a chasing career in mind and he got it off to a good start in a Class 3 novice chase at Plumpton on 16/11 when driven clear to win by 6 lengths. Violet Dancer franked the form. He strengthened up over last summer and had the required Ditcheat wind operation but he's probably not as good a chaser as Nicholls has run in this in the past and has to improve on what he has done of late to get involved it would seem.
2.50 Coral Cup
Politologue is well bred out of a Grade 1 chase mare and is a chaser for the future. He showed eye catching form in France but unseated his rider at Cheltenham on 11/12 in a Class 3 NH novices hurdle qualifier when yet to make his effort. He was then a 12 length second of three to Barters Hill at Newbury when the stable were under a cloud. He then went to Exeter and won a 5 runner listed race by 59 lengths and got himself back on track. He's on a mark of 142h but he's open to plenty of improvement and the stable have always held him in high regard so he should go well.
Baoulet Delaroque ran an eye catching race at Enghien in April even though he was still babyish and immature. He was said to have come on a fair bit over the summer and he started reasonably well for this stable at Chepstow when 4th in a Class 5 maiden hurdle. He then went to Doncaster for a race of a similar type and beat Divine Spear and he has since won twice more at Wincanton and Huntingdon. Noel Fehily rides him for the first time and like Politologue is open to further improvement.
Long House Hall had been unbeaten in three races for the stable since arriving from Ireland prior to his fall at Cheltenham. He had been impressive in his wins and the form had been franked. He has plenty of speed and normally jumps well and the stable think quite highly of him. He should like the good to soft going and should give a good account for the stable.
3.30 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase -
Dodging Bullets is a top class chaser that won three Grade 1 chases last season culminating in him winning this race. He has had some issues since then and he returned in the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase in which he was a disappointing second to Top Gamble. The stable think he is showing all his old signs so he could go off at a generous price to record back to back victories.
Un de Sceaux though will be very hard to beat if producing a clean round of jumping. Sprinter Sacre and Sire de Grugy are the others likely to be there at the business end and Felix Yonger could give his stable mate the most to do.
4.10 Glenfarclas Chase
4.50 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Romain De Senam was an unchallenged 15 length winner at Wincanton on his return where he jumped well. He then ran at Cheltenham and finished 3rd behind Wolf Of Windlesham having failed to settle and diving at a few of his hurdles. He is an improving sort and Nick Schofield takes the ride.
Diego Du Charmil is an unknown quantity to most punters as he is yet to race in Britain. He has a mark of 133 and is a half-brother to last season’s Grade-2 winning novice Days of Heaven. He is said to have been laid out for this and quotes such as "he's a machine" have been bandied around and Sam Twiston Davies takes the ride so you would think he has the best chance of the two Nicholls runners. Whether he can live up to his fav tag is anyone's guess but the stable pulled off a similar punt last year.
Kasakh Noir won a bumper in France over 2m 2f on good going by 8 lengths - quickening up to score easily after kicking clear two out. He opened his account for this stable on his first start when winning a Class 3 juvenile hurdle at Newbury over 2m 69y on soft going. He was very impressive that day leading on the bit two out and cruising he was eased down to a 16 length success. He was then third behind Fixe Le Kap at Newbury at the back end of December and should get the better of him on revised terms before beating Wolfcatcher at Market Rasen. A chaser of the future he will no doubt be back here next season.
5.30 Wetherbys Champion Bumper
If you read through the fields of previous Champion Bumper races it reads like the whose who of racing and it's a result that you have to return time and time again.
I have been lucky in this race in the past and I've put up the winners of this race well in advance in the last two years.
High Bridge has been my idea of the winner since his run at Catterick in January when he injected a lethal turn of foot entering the home straight to career away before being eased down for a facile win. Both the second and third won next time out and the 4th Nicholls Be Daring, who helped set the fast pace, was thought to be Listed class by the stable as he had previously finished 2nd to Hobbs Star Trouper who ran Skelton's Mister Mayagi close on his only run this season.
Aiden Coleman thinks High Bridge is his best chance of a winner at the meeting and it would be great for John Ferguson to go out on a high note. Lets hope he is tuned up to run a race.
The horse or stable I fear most is Dermot Weld's and his runner is First Figaro
High Bridge - 0.50 points ew @ 12/1 or better
Diego Du Charmil - 1 point win @ 7/1 with several bookmakers
Plumpton (Monday) - Going is now soft, heavy in places after 6mm of rain overnight. Dry day with some winter sunshine forecast ahead #comeracing #greatdays #christmas — Plumpt...
5 hours ago