Boxing Day horse racing tips – Perrett’s 5/4 chance can strike at Fontwell

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Get Brian Healy's Boxing Day best bets and race-by-race selections for every UK and Irish horse racing meeting going to post on Thursday.

Thursday’s Boxing Day horse racing programme promises to be a hectic day with meetings and races coming thick and fast courtesy of a monster ten-fixture schedule which is dominated by the Kempton King George VI Chase fixture at Kempton, and also the opening day of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

Unfortunately, the scheduled meeting at Huntingdon which was due to take place has been abandoned; but in addition to the day’s feature meetings at Kempton and Leopardstown there is also jumps racing from Sedgefield, Wetherby, Market Rasen, Fontwell and Wincanton; as well as from Down Royal and Limerick which hosts its’ own Christmas Festival.

Completing a hectic afternoon is an all-weather fixture at Wolverhampton on their tapeta surface.

Sedgefield (jumps) – 11.50 – 3.15pm (7 races)
Wetherby (jumps) – 11.55 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Down Royal (jumps) – 12.00 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Market Rasen (jumps) – 12.05 – 3.25pm (7 races)
Leopardstown (jumps) – 12.10 – 3.30pm (7 races)
Fontwell (jumps) – 12.15 – 3.35pm (7 races)
Wincanton (jumps) – 12.20 – 3.45pm (7 races)
Limerick (jumps) – 12.25 – 3.50pm (7 races)
Kempton (jumps) – 12.50 – 3.40pm (6 races)
Wolverhampton (flat, aw) – 1.40 – 4.55pm (7 races)

BRIAN HEALY’S BOXING DAY NAP OF THE DAY

12.45 Fontwell – Visit attheraces.com Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

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SEDGEFIELD

(12.55) TWO HOOTS (9/4, Ladbrokes) has a decent record at this venue, with a pair of wins and placed efforts each from five starts, and Julie Forster’s charge could be worth chancing to get back to winning ways.

His latest success came here back in April, after which he found only one too good over a longer trip, and he could benefit from a return to this two miles distance having struggled in his last couple of starts over stiffer tests.

The Tikkanen gelding was last seen finishing fourth at Market Rasen earlier in the month, beaten twenty lengths; but having been dropped 3lbs in the weights by the assessor, he is now 1lb lower than his last winning rating, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he were to take advantage of the handicapper’s clemency to get back on the scoresheet under Brian Hughes.

(2.05) MAH MATE BOB (9/2, Coral) was denied a hat-trick at Catterick earlier in the month, having already posted wins at this venue and Sedgefield; but George Bewley’s charge could be worth sticking with to quickly get back on the winning trail.

The Mahler gelding faced arguably a tougher test than the one he faces here, and he wasn’t helped by a couple of tardy leaps through that contest. The winner and runner-up are both potentially decent sorts however, and he might be able to bounce back in this slightly easier assignment.

He is 2-3 over this course and distance, while a return to softer ground will help and he can give another good account as he bids to quickly resume winning ways.

11.50 – That’s My Dubai
12.25 – O’hanrahan Bridge
12.55 – Two Hoots
1.30 – Stonific
2.05 – Mah Mate Bob
2.40 – Kingrullah
3.15 – Meep Meep Mag

Sedgefield race on Boxing Day Thursday.

WETHERBY

(1.00) THEFLICKERINGLIGHT (10/3, Paddy Power) is quickly turned out under a penalty having ran out a wide-margin winner at Newcastle five days ago, and if that run hasn’t left a mark then the Flemensfirth mare can follow up.

A dual-winner between the flags, she has shown steadily progressive form over hurdles and found a jolt of improvement switching to the handicap ranks to deliver a 13 lengths’ defeat of Amberose earlier in the month having collected a pair of bronze medals in novice company previously.

Making all the running latest, Philip Kirby’s charge ran out a ready winner of that contest, and a 7lbs penalty might not prove enough of an anchor to prevent a follow-up if she arrives in similar mood and not inconvenienced by recent exertions.

(2.45) YOUNG BULL (11/4, Unibet) has taken well to hurdling, winning two of his three starts over timber, and Harry Whittington’s charge can land the hat-trick here.

The Dubai Destination gelding has struck wins at Ffos Las and here latest, beating Maid In Manhattan by one length, keeping on gamely to record the win with the front pair pulling clear.

He switches now to the handicap ranks where a mark of 127 could prove workable given he remains open to further progress, and with plenty in his favour regarding ground conditions as well as course and distance form then he could take some beating if continuing on his upward curve.

11.55 – Miss Flying Fox
12.30 – Hard Knocks
1.00 – Theflickeringlight
1.35 – Sammy Bill
2.10 – Jonniesofa
2.45 – Young Bull
3.20 – Dublin Four

DOWN ROYAL

(12.30) RUSSIAN DIAMOND (11/10, Unibet) stepped up on a promising bumper introduction at Leopardstown last December to get off the mark in the same sphere at Galway in July, and Emmet Mullins’ charge can make a successful transition to hurdling now.

The Morozov gelding returns from a further five months’ break as he tackles obstacles for the first time, but there was plenty to like about his defeat of Risk Factor at the Ballybrit track when last seen out, and that form looks strong.

His shrewd yard will have him well prepared for this switch to hurdling, and he could prove a useful sort so every chance he can make a winning transition here where he can show plenty of improvement in what looks a winnable contest.

(1.00) WELL JOEY (9/1, Paddy Power) might have been amiss when last seen out at Hexham, pulled up behind Weakfield; but the Kayf Tara gelding had rattled off a hat-trick of wins prior to that run either side of a break, and he is chanced to bounce back.

Paul Stafford’s charge scored his latest win at Ballinrobe in September, beating Captain Cobajay by two lengths, and his last run was too bad to be true where he made early mistakes and was never travelling.

He’s subsequently been given time off the track to get over that run, and he returns to hurdling from a very exploitable mark so could well resume winning ways here.

12.00 – Opposites Attract
12.30 – Russian Diamond
1.00 – Well Joey
1.35 – Bitsandpieces
2.10 – Golden Sunset
2.45 – Ucello Conti
3.20 – Farouk D’alene

MARKET RASEN

(12.35) MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS (5/2, Bet365) was a winner on the flat in Irelandfor John Joseph Murphy, scoring at Killarney in August, and the Camelot gelding offered something to work on when finding only one too strong on his hurdling debut for his new yard at Huntingdon earlier in the month.

Now with Amy Murphy, he was beaten less than two lengths behind West Cork, showing his inexperience by jumping right throughout while a last-hurdle mistake cost him all chance. Despite his greenness, he still managed to pull nine lengths’ clear of the third, and he ought to improve for the run.

That performance caught the eye, and if he can brush up on his hurdling at the second attempt then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him going one place better here given his potential for improvement on the back of that first effort.

(1.05) Zolfo ought to go well in his hat-trick bid, but he can often look hard work and it might pay to chance FORT DE L’OCEAN (5/2, BetVictor) to thwart Jennie Candlish’s charge here.

The Racinger gelding has shown ability in his two chase starts this term since joining the yard from France, improving on his debut over hurdles at Bangor to finish fifth on his first start over fences at Southwell earlier in the month when finishing fifth to Katpoli.

That experience wasn’t lost on him, and he stepped up on that effort to get to within one length of Reverant Cust at Catterick two weeks on, and Olly Greenall’s charge turns out here from the same mark as when posting that near-miss.

He was only run down late having tried to pinch the race, kicked clear on the run to the last fence only to idle badly in front. That finishing effort has to be a slight concern, given how he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, but with an excellent 7lbs claimer in the saddle this time around he looks too well weighted to ignore in this contest.

With the potential for better to come after just two chase starts he could get off the mark if seeing his effort through this time.

12.05 – The Herds Garden
12.35 – Marlborough Sounds
1.05 – Fort De L’ocean
1.40 – Cloudy Glen
2.15 – Very First Time
2.50 – Head Lad
3.25 – Paricolor

Boxing Day sees day one of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival go to post.

LEOPARDSTOWN

(12.40) THE VERY MAN (8/1, Bet365) had looked set to go close on his hurdles debut at Punchestown in October, holding every chance over the last hurdle when falling; but Gordon Elliott’s charge ran well on his next outing at Fairyhouse when finishing just over four lengths’ third behind Unexcepted where he perhaps just found the conditions too testing.

The Jeremy gelding was a winner between the flags before joining this yard, and he struck at the first time of asking switched to the Meath handler when winning a Navan bumper last December where he was an impressive winner over Neptune.

He was absent for more than four months following that run, returning in a Fairyhouse contest in April where he shaped as if amiss, and he was subsequently absent again until that reappearance in October.

He looks one who could still have further progress to come over hurdles, and the winner of his last outing looked a very smart prospect so he perhaps shouldn’t be judged too harshly on that evidence. With the potential for better still, he could be worth chancing to get off the mark over hurdles at the third attempt with Davy Russell in the saddle.

(1.45) FATHER AILBE (12/1, Bet365) has looked steadily progressive since joining Gavin Cromwell, getting off the mark at Limerick late last month when beating .Killa colla by just over six lengths.

The Excelebration gelding had previously shown some useful form both on the flat and over hurdles prior to that breakthrough success for his current yard, and there is every chance that there could be better still to come from him given he remains relatively unexposed in this sphere.

The handicapper certainly appears to have taken few chances with the youngster, hitting him with a 10lbs rise in the weights which looks harsh on the face of the bare form of that winning run latest; but he could still be improving, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise in an open contest to see him competitive again.

If he can find another jolt of improvement then he can get involved at the business end with Johnathan Moore taking over from a claimer for this latest outing.

12.10 – Fils Spirituel
12.40 – The Very Man
1.10 – A Wave Of The Sea
1.45 – Father Ailbe
2.20 – Notebook
2.55 – Callthebarman
3.30 – Risk Factor

FONTWELL

(12.45) MANUCCI (5/4, Unibet) was a winner on the flat at Bath back in October, and Amanda Perrett’s charge offered something to work on over hurdles when bumping into the potentially high-class Goshen here last month.

The Nathaniel gelding was beaten more than twenty lengths on that occasion, but he in turn finished clear of the rest despite not always being fluent at his obstacles, and that experience won’t have been lost on him.

There is every chance he can improve for that run, and the winner has since bolted up in a stronger race at Sandown so there was little disgrace in his debut defeat. There’s likely nothing of that calibre in this field, and he is entitled to progress so every chance he can go one better here.

(2.25) DOSTAL PHIL (13/8, Bet365) gives up race-fitness to his rivals in this contest, but if Philip Hobbs’ charge returns near his best then he ought to prove tough to beat, and the Coastal Path can pick up where he left off last term,

Progressive last term over hurdles, twice finishing runner-up in starts at Uttoxeter and Newbury either side of a lesser Cheltenham effort, he got off the mark on his seasonal curtain closer when beating No Rematch at Exeter with a five lengths’ winning margin.

He appeared suited by the longer trip and softer ground that day, and struck easily from a field which has thrown up a couple of subsequent winners; he has similar conditions here, and the handicapper might have taken a chance only pushing him up 1lb in the weights so every chance he can mark his reappearance with a win.

12.15 – Runasimi River
12.45 – Manucci
1.15 – Neff
1.50 – Flaminger
2.25 – Dostal Phil
3.00 – Bellamy’s Grey
3.35 – Thats My Rabbit

12.45 Fontwell – Visit attheraces.com Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

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Amanda Perrett can saddle a Fontwell winner on Boxing Day.

WINCANTON

(12.55) WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI (5/2, Bet365) showed some useful form in bumpers last term, finishing fourth in a Sandown Listed contest before posting a creditable ninth behind The Glancing Queen at Aintree, and Harry Fry’s charge offered something to work on on her hurdling debut at Ffos Las in October where she finished third behind Vienna Court.

The Milan mare was beaten around three lengths, perhaps paying the price of racing too keen early and not always fluent at her hurdles. But she’ll have learned plenty for that experience and can do better now with that run under her belt.

The runner-up and fourth horses home in that race have both won since, and racing from the bottom of the weights she may well step up on that debut effort to get off the mark over obstacles at the second attempt.

(1.25) JATILUWIH (3/1, Ladbrokes) is unbeaten in five starts over hurdles since joining Philip Hobbs from France, and the Linda’s Lad gelding can continue his upward curve with his progress showing no signs of bottoming out.

He latterly ran out a comfortable winner of a competitive Cheltenham contest, scoring by just over two lengths from Falco Blitz on his handicap debut, and that form looks very fair indeed.

A subsequent 9lbs rise in the weights demands more, but he is going the right way and likely has more still to offer given the manner of recent successes so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him improve again.

This is certainly no gimme taking on a field of very useful handicappers which included fellow last-time winner Duc De Beauchene, and he has to concede weight all round; but he looks one to keep onside at present, and he can extend his winning sequence here.

12.20 – Motashakel
12.55 – Whitehotchillifili
1.25 – Jatiluwih
2.00 – Pres
2.35 – If You Say Run
3.10 – Le Coeur Net
3.45 – Supamouse

LIMERICK

(1.30) EGALITY MANS (2/1, Paddy Power) found only Glens Finale too strong by a neck when making his debut for Willie Mullins at Sligo back in April, but the former winning pointer can get off the mark switched to hurdling now.

The Network gelding offered plenty to work with under a tender ride by Patrick Mullins, not given a hard time, but still pulling well clear of the rest despite not quite being able to match the winner.

The third horse home in that race has struck twice since over hurdles, and he could improve now he tackles hurdles given he hails from a successful family over timber which includes the smart Coquin Mains.

This looks a winnable first step on the hurdling ladder, and he ought to go well if his lack of a recent run doesn’t present an inconvenience.

(3.15) KAVANAGH’S CORNER (5/2, Bet365) proved a fairly useful sort for Simon Earle prior to his switch to Henry de Bromhead, and the Coroner gelding got off the mark for his new handler at the second attempt when beating Steer Clear at Clonmel in October.

His subsequent effort behind Allardyce at Gowran Park where he pulled up is readily forgiven as he blundered at the third which caused the reins become tangled and Rachael Blackmore had no option but to call time on his effort. However, he bounced back next time when chasing home Trumps Ace, and a repeat of that effort could be good enough here.

He was a heavy ground winner for his previous handler, scoring at Exeter in April 2018 in testing conditions so he ought to handle this ground, while his 3lbs rise in the weights is offset by his rider’s claim so there’s every chance of a big effort here and he can get back to winning ways.

12.25 – King Pellinor
12.55 – Unexcepted
1.30 – Egality Mans
2.05 – Kalanisi Og
2.40 – Samcro
3.15 – Kavanagh’s Corner
3.50 – Dreamingandhoping

Samcro can get back on the winning trail at Limerick.

KEMPTON

(1.55) A cracking renewal of this Grade One prize could go the way of BLACK OP (3/1, Coral) who ought to be suited by a sharp three miles, and Tom George’s charge can get back on the winning trail.

A Grade One winner as a hurdler, he wasn’t disgraced in a couple of chase starts last term behind Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation respectively before reverting to hurdles for the second half of the season although he wasn’t at his best.

However, back over fences this term he has looked improved by a switch to more forceful tactics and he ran out a ready winner over Mr Antolini on his chase debut before throwing up some stern resistance against the high-class Champwhere he was beaten less than two lengths but finished clear of the third horse home.

This is a step back up in distance to three miles, but he was a winner in the point-to-point sphere previously and a sharp three miles could prove ideal. This certainly demands he be at his best taking on some classy rivals, but he could get a soft lead in front and may prove hard to pass as a consequence.

(3.05) Only six runners go to post for the feature race of the day, and while Paul Nicholls boasts a strong hand with defending champion Clan Des Obeaux and the Altior-conquering Cyrname, it could be LOSTINTRANSLATION (15/8, Unibet) who comes out on top and cements his claims as a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender.

The Flemensfirth gelding gradually got his act together over fences last term, following up defeats on his first two outings over the larger obstacles to win the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Years’ Day, after which he came up short against Defi Du Seuil in starts at Sandown and Cheltenham respectively.

Stepped up to three miles at Aintree by trainer Colin Tizzard, the rising star vanquished Clan Des Obeaux to claim the Grade One Mildmay Novices’ Chase, and he is 2-2 this term with a bloodless Carlisle victory followed by a win in the recent Betfair Chase where he saw off Haydock course-specialst and dual-winner Bristol De Mai.

He appeared to score a shade readily, and he likely has more to offer still where he is unbeaten at three-miles over fences. With soft ground no issue, he’s likely to get a decent pace to this contest with Aso and Cyrname – who has stamina to prove over this trip – likely to force the issue.

He hasn’t looked short on speed himself in his races over this trip, and so with the potential for better still he could be the answer to take this prize before training his sights on Cheltenham’s Blue Riband in March and a possible £1million bounty for connections.

12.50 – Vegas Blue
1.20 – Doctor Dex
1.55 – Black Op
2.30 – Fusil Raffles
3.05 – Lostintranslation
3.40 – Mr Pumblechook

Lostintranslation can win the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

WOLVERHAMPTON

(2.50) BAADIRR (10/3, Coral) has rattled the crossbar on all three starts on the all-weather since returning from a break, and William Haggas’ charge could be worth chancing to snap his sequence of near misses and open his win account now.

The Showcasing gelding latterly finished two lengths’ second behind Siberian Night, making most but unable to match the winner’s finishing effort once headed. But he was a similar margin ahead of the third, and the application of cheekpieces now could help him eke out some further improvement.

Georgia Cox’s 3lbs claim could prove valuable to his cause, and if handling the switch to tapeta over this extended one mile distance then he could go close.

(3.55) PACTOLUS (13/8 , Coral) can usually be relied upon to run his race on the all-weather, and Stuart Williams’ charge has made the frame in each of his last three starts on polytrack, latterly beaten less than one length behind Victory Bond at Lingfield earlier in the month.

The Footstepsinthesand gelding is just as adept on tapeta, winning four times over course and distance, and he turns out here from the same mark as that latest near-miss which looks useful form with the winner and third both contesting in Listed company subsequently, while the fourth won next time out.

He races here from the same mark as that latest outing, and a repeat could be good enough to see him get back on the winning trail.

1.40 – Inaam
2.15 – Get Boosting
2.50 – Baadirr
3.25 – Sunshineandbubbles
3.55 – Pactolus
4.25 – Dream Magic
4.55 – Summerghand

BRIAN HEALY’S BEST BETS FOR THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER

12.30 Down Royal – RUSSIAN DIAMOND (11/10, Unibet)

12.35 Market Rasen – MARLBOROUGH SOUNDS (5/2, Bet365)

12.40 Leopardstown – THE VERY MAN (8/1, Bet365)

12.45 Fontwell – MANUCCI (5/4, Unibet)

12.55 Sedgefield – TWO HOOTS (9/4, Ladbrokes)

12.55 Wincanton – WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI (5/2, Bet365)

1.00 Wetherby – THEFLICKERINGLIGHT (10/3, Paddy Power)

1.00 Down Royal – WELL JOEY (9/1, Paddy Power)

1.05 Market Rasen – FORT DE L’OCEAN (5/2, BetVictor)

1.25 Wincanton – JATILUWIH (3/1, Ladbrokes)

1.30 Limerick – EGALITY MANS (2/1, Paddy Power)

1.45 Leopardstown – FATHER AILBE (12/1, Bet365)

1.55 Kempton – BLACK OP (3/1, Coral)

2.05 Sedgefield – MAH MATE BOB (9/2, Coral)

2.25 Fontwell – DOSTAL PHIL (13/8, Bet365)

2.45 Wetherby – YOUNG BULL (11/4, Unibet)

2.50 Wolverhampton – BAADIRR (10/3, Coral)

3.05 Kempton – LOSTINTRANSLATION (15/8, Unibet)

3.15 Limerick – KAVANAGH’S CORNER (5/2, Bet365)

3.55 Wolverhampton – PACTOLUS (13/8 , Coral)

12.45 Fontwell – Visit attheraces.com Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

Bet £10, money back on first bet up to £40,
New Customers only. 18+. T&C`s Apply. begambleaware.org
MANUCCI 5 /4
New Customers only. 18+. T&C`s Apply. begambleaware.org

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