The 5 best-backed Festive fancies that have the trading floor on red alert

The season of goodwill can only go so far.



The trading floor are having sleepless nights – and it’s not because Santa Claus is coming. Here are the 5 best-backed horses in Paddy’s book ahead of the Christmas racing smash up.

Leopardstown 14:20 – Laurina, Dec 26

Although she disappointed in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, she looked back to her best when winning her beginners chase at Gowran Park firs time up this season. This race has been touted as a match, but with the uncertainty of whether Fakir D’Oudaries would’ve won if Samcro stayed on his feet at Fairyhouse, punters could be swayed by Laurina’s claims.

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Kempton 14:30 – Fusil Raffles, Dec 26 

The unexposed Fusil Raffles is sure to hurt bookmakers if he was to win his second Grade 1 at Kempton. Although he didn’t win by far last time, he’s expected to come on significantly for that run.

His trainer Nicky Henderson has made no secret of the fact that he can enhance his Champion Hurdle chances by winning what looks an intriguing renewal of the Christmas Hurdle.


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Chepstow 14:50 – Elegant Escape, Welsh National, Dec 27 

With the absence of stablemate Native River, punters have latched onto Colin Tizzard’s Elegant Escape to follow up last season’s victory, landing a monster punt in the process. He was sent off 3/1 fav then and we’d fully expect that he will be in or around that price again this year, after his very good run in defeat when third at Newbury in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time under top weight.

It won’t be a very Merry Christmas in Power Tower if he becomes the first horse since Bonanza Boy in 1989 to win back-to-back renewals of the Welsh Grand National.

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Leopardstown 14:00 – Benie Des Dieux, Sat 28 

Punters will feel that Benie Des Dieux owes them one after her unfortunate incident at Cheltenham in March, when tipping up at the last hurdle with the mares hurdle seemingly at her mercy. If she lines up in this she looks sure to  take all the beating at the Foxrock track.

It’s a deep contest but we’re anticipating that punters will get stuck in again and try to even up the score for the March misery.

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Leopardstown 15:10 – Presenting Percy, Sat 28

Ever since the enigma that is Presenting Percy reappeared when second to Min in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown earlier this month, we’ve seen plenty of support for him to step up in trip and take another step forward in the Savills Chase.

Pat Kelly’s runner has been the best backed horse in the weeks leading up to Christmas and we don’t expect that to slow down in the run up to post time next Saturday afternoon.

*Prices & entries correct at publication 

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What do you think?