With the cold spell happily over, your three Coral Racing Club jumps trainers head out in force on Boxing Day and David Stevens has provided a full-round up of all the runners.
Jonjo O’Neill sends out five runners to four different racecourses spanning the country.
His first runner is Dana's Gem in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at 12.53 at Wincanton. This will be her racecourse debut against horses with a bit more experience, and some decent form, so looks a good starting point
Then in the 14.10 at Wetherby Jonjo runs Zabeel Champion for his yard sponsor Martin Tedham in what looks a competitive handicap hurdle. Zabeel Champion hasn’t run since October, but won’t lack for fitness and this step up in trip should suit.
In the following race at Wetherby, the Handicap Chase at 14.45, Jonjo runs Orrisdale who disappointed last time out at Kempton but is now back down to the mark of 130 that he won off at Hereford in April.
Over at Fontwell Park, Blue Shark runs for the Jackdaws Castle team in the 15.27, the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle where he is bidding for a terrific hat-trick both for Jonjo, but also his conditional jockey, Jamie Brace.
Then finally at Huntingdon in the 15.32 Jonjo runs Piper Tom in a hot looking bumper at the end of the card there. He’s a nicely bred four-year-old son of Presenting running for the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate and will be great to see how he gets on in his first racecourse appearance under rules.
For Joe Tizzard and the team it’s an even busier day, with eleven runners across three different tracks.
They kick-off the day with the aptly named Off To A Flyer
in Kempton’s 12.10 and then it's onto a brace of runners in the 13.28 at Wincanton. Premiumaccess
ran well at Fontwell last time for his conditional jockey, Harry Kimber, and a repeat of that run would give him a chance here, while No Hubs No Hoobs
has the benefit of Freddie Gingell taking seven pounds of his back.
It’s then up to Wetherby for their 13.35. Lostintranslation is not at the heights he once reached, but the 2020 Gold Cup third is dropping down the weights, and Joe is hoping the rain stays away.
From Yorkshire it’s back to Wincanton, and another brace, this time Earth Business and Triple Trade in the 14.03, before the headline act of the day, Eldorado Allen in the King George VI Chase, off at Kempton at 14.30. Eldorado Allen has run two mighty races already this season, finishing second at Wetherby and Haydock, and fully deserves his place here. He’ll be a big price, but don’t let that put you off in a race that often sees outsiders make the frame, if not better.
Team Tizz have three more runners at Wincanton, West Orchard in the 14.38, Copperhead, who is looking to build on a promising run at Sandown last time in the 15.13, and finally Bala Brook, who should step forward from his debut run in the concluding Bumper, while back at Kempton, the consistent Bourbali will no doubt run his usual solid race in the 15.40.
Click here to get the full lowdown from Joe Tizzard on all his runners on Boxing Day with his exclusive Coral blog.
Rebecca Menzies also has eleven runners heading off from her Howe Hills base to both Wetherby and Newcastle.
The day kicks off in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Wetherby at 11.52, when Bowland Belle will be hoping to build on her debut effort when fifth in a bumper here last month. In the following race, the grey Fever Roque will be looking to get off the mark over fences at the fourth time of asking. He’s been dropped 1lb since his last run, and if this first go at three miles can unlock some improvement, then he’d have a solid each-way chance.
Shortly after, the consistent Curley Finger will look to build on his seasonal reappearance here earlier this month when third in a novice event. He makes his handicap debut off a mark of 111, and he could certainly be well-treated on the best of his form.
Rafferty’s Return rarely runs a bad race, but he looked like he’d benefit from the run when a well-beaten favourite here last month. He is still 5lb above his last winning mark, but with very few miles on the clock, you expect that the best is yet to come. The 14.45 on the card is a very competitive handicap, but Dalyotin has shown plenty of ability so far for the Rebecca Menzies team, and a mark of 125 could still very much underestimate this talented six-year old.
The card concludes with another competitive handicap at 15.20, where the well-bred Take Centre Stage makes his handicap debut. He’s been well-beaten on each of his four starts to date, but this switch to handicaps could now see him in a better light.
We then head over to Newcastle where bumper winner Socks Off makes just his second start for the yard in the handicap hurdle at 12.15. The handicapper has certainly given him a chance, so the team at Howe Hills will be hoping he can bounce back to form.
Although he’s yet to translate his hurdles form to fences, Ritson looks to make it third time lucky in the handicap chase at 12.50. Carrying top-weight will be no easy task, but he’s well-handicapped on the best of his form, and this does represent a drop-in class.
Twoshotsoftequila disappointed slightly when fourth on his chase debut at Hexham last time, but a return to hurdles and a step back up in trip will hopefully see him fare much better with Danny McMenamin taking the ride at 14.00.
Road Warrior has yet to find his best form this season, but he’s now 4lb below his last winning mark, and if Ryan Mania can get a tune out of him, then he’s certainly weighted to go well in the handicap chase at 14.35.
We conclude at Newcastle with a Mares’ bumper in which Lactara makes her first start for the yard. She hasn’t been seen for 615-days, since finishing well-beaten in a pair of bumpers for Adrian Keatley, so she’ll have to take a big step forward to get involved in this race.
Good luck to all our trainers, and their owners, with their runners this Boxing Day, and Merry Christmas to you all.