They race at Cheltenham on New Years Day and unsurprisingly it is the main meeting of the day. They also race at Catterick, Exeter, Fakenham, Musselburgh and Southwell on the Tapeta plus Fairyhouse and Tramore in Ireland, Sha Tin in Hong Kong and Meydan and U.A.E. Safe to say there is plenty of opportunity for a bet if you want one!
Treading a familiar path towards Cheltenham in March, Al Boum Photo goes in the Grade Three Savills New Year's Day Chase at Tramore looking to win the race for the fourth time – unsurprisingly he is odds-on.
It’s not a day to get over involved for me but I do fancy a couple here and two out in Dubai.
Best bets for the horse racing at Cheltenham
The first race of interest to me is the 1.25 the 2m4½f Grade Two Paddy Power Novices' Chase (The Dipper Novices' Chase as it is better known) L’Homme Presse arrives in good heart with a couple of wins to his name recently, impressive at Ascot last time, clearly enjoying himself over the larger obstacles. He showed a tendency to go slightly left over the jumps at right-handed Ascot which will be less of an issue here. The yard is in pretty good form and the seven-year-old is fancied to continue his winning streak, I took the 7-4 on Thursday afternoon.
At 3.10 they line-up for the Grade Two 2m 4f Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle. Brewin'upastorm is top-rated and got his season underway with a win at Aintree in November in taking style and despite having to give a bit of weight to a few of these he should prove too good for them. Definitely better over the smaller obstacles a return to hurdling last season saw him win the G.2 National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell in February and it’s no surprise to me they appear to be keeping him to Hurdles this season. I took the 6-4 on Thursday. The danger is Mcfabulous making his seasonal reappearance who can go well fresh.
Best bets for the horse racing at MeydanIt's not the Dubai Carnival yet but they are already racing at Meydan and there is a couple to be backed out there. New Kingdom runs in the 3.45 Al Jaddaf Mile Presented By Museum Of The Future. Beaten at Newbury on debut he got his nose in front at Haydock, I tipped him for borth runs, before being put away and readied for the trip to Dubai. He can get his campaign in the U.A.E. off to a winning start and I have the 5-4. Stable Mate King Of Conquest is the danger.
I have backed Silk Romance on all three of her career starts to date, and she gets her winter campaign in Dubai underway in the 4.55 at Meydan the 7f UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Presented By Burj Al Arab on the Dirt track. Second on debut at Kempton on the Polytrack she then won a Novice Stakes at HQ in convincing fashion before a second place finish at Newbury in September beaten just a neck to one she was giving weight to. At 3-1 with Hills she is worth a punt in this.
Shahama impressed a few people on her debut over C&D last month and is the likely favourite but that looked a messy race to me with most of the field beat turning for home; she may be top-class or she may have won a race against an average bunch that simply fell apart and into her lap.
Horse racing at Southwell
On the All-Weather the 2.18 at Southwell is the 7f Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Fillies' Conditions Stakes which is an All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier. Arriviste is pretty decent and won at Lingfield on the Polytrack recently. She should prove too good for this line-up and book a place on Finals Day for the Fillies and Mares Championship but she is unbackable at 8-13 or shorter.