Horse Racing Tips: Paddy’s best-backed runners ahead of the Christmas Festivals

We've got some post-Christmas crackers for you to check out.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

Today 13:55 Kempton: Kauto Star Novices’ Chase – Ahoy Senor

This race is being billed as a match and it is looking like punters are all firmly behind Ahoy Senor.

Lucinda Russell’s new stable star didn’t begin his chasing career brilliantly, unseating rider Derek Fox in a decent race at Carlisle, where he looked beaten at the time. But, he made amends in no uncertain terms at Newbury last month.

Sent to the front by the same jockey, the Dylan Thomas gelding went two lengths clear four out and then just went further-and-further ahead to win the Grade 2 event by an incredible 31 lengths. It should be a marvellous clash between this guy and Bravemansgame, but the former came out seven lengths on top over hurdles at Aintree in April and backers seem to think the same will happen again.


Today 14:20 Leopardstown: Racing Post Novice Chase – Ferny Hollow

Plenty of punters availed themselves of the the ante-post price of 13/2 about FERNY HOLLOW for this contest prior to his impressive chasing debut earlier this month and find themselves in a great position as given his current odds.

You can crab that bow over the bigger obstacles at Punchestown as the six-year-old made some novicey mistakes, but that’s only to be expected first time around and he still managed to score by a long-looking four lengths.

The 2020 Champion Bumper hero only had one run over hurdles, beating the highly-regarded Bob Olinger in a maiden at Gowran Park. The fact that Willie Mullins sent him fencing this season indicates the master trainer has the very highest opinion of his charge.

Today 15:05 Kempton: King George VI Chase – Clan Des Obeaux

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is the ‘King’ of this race with an amazing 12 victories to his name (including the last three) and CLAN DES OBEAUX, who scooped this prestigious contest in 2018 and 2019, is our worst result.

We’ve had this event chalked up since last January and some shrewd punters managed to obtain 16/1 before his 26-length Aintree romp in April.

Another top-class win later in the same month in the Punchestown Gold Cup in which he stayed on magnificently under Sam Twiston-Davies meant he was 5/1 in September, but those fancy odds are a distant memory.

Monday 14:55 Leopardstown: Paddy Power Chase – Alfa Mix

ALFA MIX has been slashed in price for this valuable €200,000 event and a close look of the replay of his last effort in a handicap chase at Punchestown last month shows exactly why.

Gavin Cromwell’s charge took up third under pilot Mark Walsh approaching the last before gaining one more place about half a furlong from home, but just wasn’t quite able to overhaul Fully Charged – who is among the opposition again.

That race was over an extended 2m 6f, but while it will never be able to be proved either way, it would take a brave man to categorically state that he wouldn’t have won over this race’s trip of 3m.


Monday 14:50 Chepstow: Welsh National – Highland Hunter & The Big Dog

Two horses in the shape of Highland Hunter and The Big Dog are both the most popular selections in this gruelling long-distance heat with some lucky backers of each sitting on 16/1 dockets in the ante-post markets.

The former underlined his credentials with a hard-fought success from Deise Aba on the nod in the London National and the eight-year-old can probably be expected to make significant improvement from that as it was his first outing for 259 days.

The Big Dog provided Kildare conjuror Peter Fahey with a big-race victory in the Punchestown Grand National Trial in February and although he didn’t trouble the judge in a handicap hurdle at Navan earlier this month, that run should have put the Irish raider spot on his big target.

Tuesday 14:20 Leopardstown: Savills Chase – A Plus Tard

Our initial offering of 5/4 about A PLUS TARD was popular with punters and they look in a lovely position with the impressive Betfair Chase hero now. Henry De Bromhead’s Gold Cup runner-up adores this meeting, and he landed the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase in 2019 before getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Kemboy in this event last year.

Some pundits argued that he might be vulnerable first time out last time in the Betfair, but previous defeats on his seasonal bow were over shorter trips than the three miles he requires. His procession at Haydock makes him the one to beat.



Wednesday 14:20 Leopardstown: Matheson Hurdle – Sharjah

Sharjah, who has won this race for the last three seasons, is by far our worst result in the book here and was available at 7/4 ante-post. Honeysuckle sets the standard over hurdles at present, but this fellow isn’t far away finishing third to her in last season’s Irish Champion Hurdle at this venue before just finding the wonder mare too powerful in the English equivalent and the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

Sharjah’s campaign began well with jockey Patrick Mullins going clear on the run-in in the Morgiana Hurdle (again at Punchestown) last month and punters seem to believe he’s invincible the way that he’s been backed.

Christmas Festival tips:

Today 13:55 Kempton: Kauto Star Novices’ Chase – Ahoy Senor
Today 14:20 Leopardstown: Racing Post Novice Chase – Ferny Hollow
Today 15:05 Kempton: King George VI Chase – Clan Des Obeaux
Monday 14:55 Leopardstown: Paddy Power Chase – Alfa Mix
Monday 14:50 Chepstow: Welsh National – Highland Hunter & The Big Dog
Tuesday 14:20 Leopardstown: Savills Chase – A Plus Tard
Wednesday 14:20 Leopardstown: Matheson Hurdle – Sharjah


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