Happy New Year! 2020 gets underway in the horse racing world with eight fixtures across Britain and Ireland, including a couple of Grade Two’s at Cheltenham. The tips for New Year's day are up nice and early, before the old satchel swingers have even chalked-up, so grab the best prices you can when you can.
At 1.25 it’s the Grade 2 2m4½f Paddy Power Broken Resolutions Already Dipper Novices' Chase. The Nicky Henderson-trained Champ has been heading the market in the build-up as he looks to showcase his credentials for the Festival and the RSA Chase, another market he heads. He is odds-on for this and looks a good thing but I aint betting at the prices. Nicky Henderson has a strong hand in the Grade Two 2m4½f Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at 3.10 with Janika and Top Notch at the top of the betting and Might Bite reverting to the smaller obstacles. I will be watching for future pointers but not punting. Also out in Ireland defending Cheltenham Gold Cup champion Al Boum Photo is in action at Tramore.
We have some All-Weather action as they race on the Fibresand at Southwell where they stage a seven-race card and I fancy four up at Dunstall Park so that is where I am concentrating.
I have mentioned before the course tends to favour prominent horses as it is very difficult to accelerate and make up ground, added to the fact that there is significant kickback; course form is no bad thing! Jazz Hands who runs in the one-mile Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Handicap at 12.10 is a track and trip winner. In fact, he is two from two having won over C&D last time but is now at an all-time high in the ratings. That said he clearly likes it here and is fancied to nick this off bottom weight.
Moonraker, Samovar and Foolaad all have C&D form in the 5f Betway Handicap at 1.20. Moonraker carries a penalty for his win here at the weekend but is still below his winning mark of earlier this year and the chestnut gelding looks set to make a bold bid for a quick double.
It’s the mile course again at 2.30 for the Bombardier 'March To Your Own Drum' Handicap. Tagur hasn’t won in a while but is on an OR here of 60 with Miss Harriet Lees taking off a very handy looking 7lb. Second last time behind Jazz Hands, hopefully, that form will have been franked earlier on the card, the 5yo chestnut is fancied to get back to winning ways.
The 1m3f Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap is due off at 3.05. Angel Lane is a relatively lightly race grey filly who has gone well here on three occasions in her five-race career including a win over 1m4f. Turned over at short odds over that trip last time this furlong less looks ideal and she is fancied to take victory number two.
A little New Years Day Yankee if you wish.