Ceebee looks at two races from the minor tracks on St Stephens Day.
Whether it’s Boxing Day or St Stephen’s Day it’s a feast for horse racing fans. 77 races across 11 racecourses. Here’s a pair of selections from some of the lesser tracks.
William Henry is the selection in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle over 2m5f. On his last start at Ayr in April he jumped very poorly and found himself playing catchup on a fast track. He finished well but couldn’t get to the leaders. He actually jumped to his right so if repeating that he’s better off going right-handed around Wincanton. Prior to Ayr he was a close 4th in the Coral Cup – this race isn’t a patch on the quality and competitiveness of a Festival Handicap. He won the Lanzarote at Kempton off 145. That form held up very will last spring. Off just 8lbs higher, still lightly raced, he can win in a weak race. The 2m5f trip and good to soft ground will be ideal.
2pts e/w William Henry at 6/1 with William Hill
Vendor is the selection in this 2m3f handicap chase on soft ground. His last win was at Wetherby and his previous win was over 2m3f. Both on soft ground. He was placed 3 more times at Wetherby as well. This is an ideal test here so. He was off the track for 2yrs before his runs in November so I’m happy to ignore them and say he needed them. His third effort, just 4 days ago was a decent return to form. He was slow over the first few fences and found himself with plenty to do, ultimately beaten 7L in 4th. That was over 2m so the step up to 2m3f should help as this grey (now white) 10yo may have lost a touch of his speed. He races off 123 – at his very best he was rated 140, so should have the winning of this in him.
2pt win Vendor at 8/1 with William Hill
Also in Ireland - In the Grade 1 novice chases I’m against both Mengli Khan (with Voix de Reve) and Getabird (with Jetz). Neither of the favourites are consistent and I’m picking those with slightly more experience who have run well in decent company lately.
At Kempton I’m undecided on the King George. I’m against Waiting Patiently and Might Bite so will probably side with Native River. It’s an intriguing race.
Santini is under-priced and TopoftheGame is overrated so Bags Groove might be a small play in the Feltham Kauto Star race.