Friday’s Daily Double – 7.5/1 double covering Graded races at Kempton and Leopardstown
Jon Vine rolls his NAP of the day and his NB into this Daily Double, covering races at Kempton and Leopardstown on Friday 27th December.
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Friday’s Daily Double
1:20pm Kempton Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 2m
There are quite a few of my tracker horses running in this race, and it’s hard to pull myself away from them. Al Dancer won nicely on his chasing debut at Cheltenham, but it was slightly disappointing to see Put The Kettle On beat both Al Dancer and Getaway Trump in November. Global Citizen and Grand Sancy should both come on from their first runs over fences, but I doubt either will have progressed enough to beat FANION D’ESTRUVAL (NAP).
I couldn’t have been more impressed with Venetia Williams’ newcomer at Newbury’s Winter Carnival. Fanion D’Estruval was a reasonably unfancied 6/1 shot, but Charlie Deutsch’s mount fair bolted up, cantering to an effortless six-length triumph without being truly tested.
That was the performance of a very classy horse, a chaser well beyond handicap company. Fanion D’Estruval won on his first start over fences around a right-handed track in France, soft ground looks ideal and Venetia Williams has won with 50% of her runners over the past two weeks. Another victory here could thrust Fanion D’Estruval right into the Arkle picture.
1:45pm Leopardstown Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m
With Envoi Allen saved for another assignment, Abacadabras carries an odds-on price into this Grade One. Although the favourite has easily the best form in the book, I’d be keen to take Abacadabras on at such a short price.
The one I’m very keen to side with here is BLUE SARI (NB). Willie Mullins’ Champion Bumper runner-up was expected to get the job done in convincing fashion when he made his hurdling debut over two-and-a-half miles, but the front-runner found little in the latter stages of the race, and was forced to battle right to the line to secure a half-length triumph.
During his bumper campaign, Blue Sari looked a real speedball, so it came as a surprise when Willie Mullins claimed he would be more of a stayer over hurdles. That performance at Punchestown has forced Ireland’s Champion Trainer to rethink his plans though, and I think the trip and ground will be ideal for Blue Sari on Friday.