Loader’s Lucky 63 – Six selections from across the cards on a bumper Boxing Day of racing
Chris Loader teams six of his Boxing Day selections together in this massive Lucky 63, covering races at Kempton, Fontwell and Wincanton on Thursday 26th December.
What a treat we have in store on Boxing Day with a bundle of race meetings across Britain & Ireland. For the occasion I’ve picked out six of my best bets and put them into a EW Lucky63 to hopefully bring us some festive profits.
Thursday’s Lucky 63
Neff should really be winning this race at Fontwell in our opening selection. The four-year-old hasn’t finished outside for the first two in all his hurdle starts so far which also includes a victory at the course. Despite shouldering a penalty the opposition shouldn’t pose much of a threat and I expect to start with a winner.
When looking through the declarations this horse took my eye and I sense a plot that potentially could lead to the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival. The six-year-old is owned by JP McManus and will be ridden on Boxing Day by Jonjo O’Neill who still can claim conditional status despite recently riding out his claim. This combination already won the fore-mentioned race earlier this year and with the trainer being the son of Martin Pipe it looks like a plan is being put together. Moreover the form of the son of Saddler Maker is fair after winning at Cheltenham on his latest start. For that effort he was raised 10lbs, but I still think he has a lot more to offer and he could be the one to be on side with at the Somerset venue.
Followers of my work already know that I’ve put up Danny Whizzbang as my only Cheltenham Antepost pick with Racing Tips so far. I was at Newbury when he won on debut and he was a strong eye catcher in the paddock being a huge imposing type. I ended up backing him on the day and he didn’t disappoint racking up a Grade 2 on his chase debut. Immediately after the race Paul Nicholls admitted how surprised he was with his performance. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he improves for that effort. If he can step up, he will pose a real problem for Champ in the three mile novice chase division.
For my next selection we take a visit to Market Rasen for the Lincolnshire National. Very First Time has been in stellar form in his recent outings with victories at Catterick & Southwell. The son of Champs Elysees has shown a love for stamina and a race like this should suit. Moreover his rating of 122 can still be in range as he won at Newcastle in 2017 off a 2lb higher mark. It seems Dan Skelton has found a strong opportunity for the seven-year-old to collect the hat-trick.
A mare from Nicky Henderson’s yard spoiled the party for their stablemate and favourite backers last year and it could just be that the writing is on the wall again. The JP McManus owned mare took advantage of a low handicap mark at Newbury last time demonstrating her serious engine. I was very impressed how she can surged clear despite hitting a few hurdles. In this Grade 1 she will be receiving the mares allowance which can make a world of difference. When it comes to post time I believe she will be an attractive price and I would willing to take a chance on her.
Mr Pumblechook ran a very noteworthy race at Newbury last time out finishing in a clear second place running on strongly and was never going to catch the winner. In the finale at Kempton he’s going to be running of 128 and with Alexander Thorne’s 7lb claim he’s going to be well treated. Also the fourth placed effort at Plumpton on his penultimate start as produced subsequent winners, so he’s definitely one to keep on the right side of.