Willie Mullins’ Min – second in the Supreme Novices´ Hurdle last season – will be the banker of the festive period for many in the Racing Post Novice Chase at 2.20pm, however he doesn’t face a straight-forward task against some talented young horses led by Identity Thief.
Instead, the best bet of the day at Leopardstown is Landofhopeandglory in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at 1.15pm. Landofhopeandglory is a terrible song, but a better racehorse and Joseph O’Brien’s Triumph hope completed a hat-trick at Fairyhouse last time.
He beat Bapaume by a length that day and can beat him again here.
The New One looked a new horse when winning the International Hurdle at Cheltenham (for the third time) earlier this month, however he faces tougher opposition in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton at 2.40pm.
Despite the absence of Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Vroum Vroum Mag, Alan King’s Yanworth looked a potential superstar over two miles last season so it’s no surprise that connections have dropped him in distance here. He can underline his Champion Hurdle credentials with an emphatic win.
Caught the eye
Our Kaempfer is another member of Timeform’s Fifty to Follow for this season and Charlie Longsdon’s charge has caught the eye in three runs over fences this term.
He was third to Clan des Obeaux at Newbury last time, where he was ridden more positively than usual, and he is able to race off a 1 lb lower mark than when a close-up fifth in the Pertemps Final last season at Festival. He can beat the likes of Henri Parry Morgan, Yala Enki and Blaklion in the 1.50pm Handicap Chase at Wetherby.
The 2.15pm Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton features some old favourites such as Buywise, Masters Hill and Theatrical Star, however all three are better known for their adventures over fences, and the better bet is Blue Rambler.
Blue Rambler didn’t seem to stay three miles last time and this shorter trip and bigger field will play into his hands. We don’t want to keep banging on about him, but Blue Rambler can walk off with this tidy prize.
Caprice d’Anglais translates as ‘an English whimsy’, however there wasn’t anything particularly playful about the horse’s last run at Hereford where he ground his rivals into submission from the front.
Expect more of the same from Richard Hobson’s grey under a 7lb penalty for that win when he runs in the 1.20pm Handicap Chase at Huntingdon.
Best bets for Boxing Day: