The horseracing week ahead

It's always a little quieter this time of year as we head into Christmas but we do have what could be a cracker (sorry) of a race on Friday in the shape of the Howden Long Walk Hurdle with what looks likely to be s small but select field. The Christmas meeting at Ascot starts on Friday with the 2m3f Grade Two Howden Noel Novices' Chase the race of the day. A favourite of mine, and recent winner of the 2m4f G.2 John Francome Novices' Chase, Hermes Allen is entered but listening to Paul Nicholls recently it appears he is more likely to head to Kempton Park on Boxing Day for the 3m Grade One Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase than run at Ascot. Nicholls said yesterday "I’m going to reroute Hermes Allen to the Kauto Star now rather than go to Ascot this week, because I’d love to run him in a Grade 1 over three miles. We sorted his breathing out in the summer. He had a little setback so went into Newbury a bit short really, but he’s taken a good step forward since then and I’ll be really interested to see him over three miles at Kempton because I think that track will suit him well. He’s got enough boot to win over two and a half, but I’m sure he’ll get three miles. He’s won a point-to-point, he looks a stayer and when you win a Challow Hurdle to me you’re a stayer."

Over the next few days there are a couple that interest me, including one due to make debut at Wolverhampton on Tuesday evening so do check back for the bets as the week goes on. 

There is of course no racing in Britain and Ireland on Christmas Eve (Sunday) but plenty to look forward to Boxing Day with the Grade One Ladbrokes King George VI Chase, the aforementioned  Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase and the Christmas Hurdle as well as the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase out in Ireland at Leopardstown. 

Be lucky