We’re trying to fill up the bank for Christmas with a few winners at Ascot and Haydock, where we have 6 races on ITV.
We will kick off at Ascot where we have a handicap chase with a competitive look to it. Nicky Henderson has a really interesting recruit in here with Janika and he gets the vote.
I watched the race this horse won at Auteuil and he looked a really promising type. Overtown Express is also one to keep an eye on with his very good record fresh.
The Long Walk has a couple of previous winners in here and none of them are favourite.
We went for Sam Spinner last time and he was very disappointing before getting rid of his rider. I am a huge fan of Call Me Lord but I worry about the trip on his first run of the season on what is being called soft/heavy ground, so for that reason I am going to stick with Sam Spinner and hope he can bounce back to the form that showed him winning this 12 months ago.
Unowhatimeanharry seems to have been rejuvenated by the headgear and the wind op, so if Sam Spinner falters again he could be the one to take advantage.
Thomas Patrick was all the rage for the Ladbrokes Trophy three weeks ago, where he bombed out. I am willing to give him another chance at a track that can suit front-runners.
Gold Present is a smart horse but i worry that a slog is not what he wants.
Full Glass was not finished with when unseating his rider at Haydock a few weeks ago and could be interesting at a ew price.
The handicap hurdle to finish things off is, as you would expect, a very competitive affair with lots of fancied horses.
One that caught my eye at Newbury behind Global Citizen was Mont Des Avaloirs. This horse ran a hell of a race in the Tolworth Hurdle won by Summerville Boy in which Kalashnikov was second.
Jollys Cracked It was a very easy winner at the track but has gone up 9lbs. He has dead-heated in this race in the past so has to be respected.
Haydock has two races on ITV and we kick off with a handicap hurdle.
I think Ballymoy can get back to winning ways here at the expense of Chti Balko. This lad was shade disappointing at Newbury, but I think that was a very hot race.
The Tommy Whittle is a race that could turn into a slog and I cant help but think Splash Of Ginge, who pulled off a 33/1 shock when winning at Cheltenham last November, can be a player here.
He loves soft ground and is attractively weighted. Keep an eye on the owner John Neild as he is from Liverpool and loves a celebration – and knows how to do it in style.
Additionally, I think Rocklander can run well here at a price after encouraging signs at Newbury last time.
Merry Christmas to you all!