Mick Fitzgerald’s ITV Racing Tips
What a treat we have in store for the holidays with bumper action coming up on ITV racing. We kick off with racing from Kempton and I’ve also got a wagers for Wetherby as well.
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Champ has such a good record first time out but is never as good on his next start. For that reason I am deserting him and I’m going with PAISLEY PARK as there was only a neck between the two horses at Newbury. With softer ground to help, I’m hoping that will swing things slightly in his favour. The only concern I have is the 3 mile start is close to the stables and we do not want a repeat of his antics at Cheltenham when he gave them all a head start before winning the Cleeve Hurdle.
I was very impressed with McFabulous last time at Newbury. He had jumped really well at Exeter previous to that and the biggest bonus of them all is the small field. I think that’s important for him as he likes a bit of elbow room and he has that here.
Paul Nicholls’ other horse, Gelino Bello, has won both starts over fences nicely. He does jump markedly right-handed which is fine around here and, let’s not forget, he is a grade one winner over hurdles. Thyme Hill has been disappointing over fences, he just isn’t jumping fluently. They have put cheek pieces on to try and help but I am not convinced. I’m sticking with MCFABABULOUS in the small field.
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I was really taken by INTO OVERDRIVE when watching him at Newcastle. He jumped superbly and travelled almost too strongly. That will suit in a race like this at Wetherby and I take him to make use of the weight he receives from Chantry House.
It’s very hard to get away from CONSTITUTION HILL and he will be very tough to beat. Epatante loves this track but she has a bit to find.
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L’Homme Presse is a very good horse and the handicapper has him 6lbs officially ahead of my selection, BRAVEMANSGAME. I do think he is a very good horse and I was so nearly swayed to go for him, but I am sticking loyal to Paul Nicholls’ charge. Having watched back his comfortable success in last year’s Feltham at the track, I think it just feels tailor-made for him.
My only concern is if it turns into a slog. I feel he will be vulnerable then. Hitman is one that could benefit for the step up in trip. He is the youngest in the field and the least exposed.
I didn’t think the track played to the strength of Ahoy Senor when he finished behind Bravemansgame last year but connections think it’s worth another go. Envoi Allen won the JN Wines grade one at Down Royal on his first try at 3 miles. He has to be respected. With top-class connections, and if he were to win, it would not be a surprise.
The only King George winner in the lineup is one of the outsiders, so we have to give a mention to Frodon who looked as good as ever when carrying top weight to victory at Wincanton.
BALCO COASTAL is highly thought of by the Henderson team. He got a little caught out at Newbury and had a bit of a shock jumping fences for the first time, but finished the race off really well that day and there is more to come from this horse.
Mick Fitzgerald’s Boxing Day ITV Racing Tips
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