Monday’s Daily Double – 14/1 double covering races at Haydock and Taunton

Jon Vine rolls his NAP and Next Best into this Daily Double, covering races at Haydock and Taunton on Monday 30th December.

It’s been a dry Christmas on the tipping front, but I enter the final few days of the year confident that my fortunes will change fairly soon. As part of our Daily Tips service, I’d put up this Daily Double. Best odds available with Unibet.

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Monday’s Daily Double

2:00pm Haydock Last Fling Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m4½f

Thomas Patrick wasn’t right at any stage last season and could be a big player off 140. Potters Corner returned after almost 600 days off the track back in October, but he clearly retains all of his old ability, having run West Approach close at Cheltenham on his most recent chase outing.

While both hold appeal, the fact that LORD DU MESNIL (NAP) is out so quickly after his Tommy Whittle success suggests Richard Hobson’s chaser is very well within himself and I can’t believe he’s opened up at 5/1.

I wasn’t that keen to side with Lord Du Mesnil ahead of that big staying handicap. Paul O’Brien’s mount had battled on well to beat Sam’s Adventure on his previous start at Newcastle, and I was expecting that slog of a race to have left a mark on him. As it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Lord Du Mesnil looked as fresh as a daisy as he led the field along, opening up an advantage on the run to the second-last, and could even afford to ease down before crossing the line a 13-length victor.

The handicapper has taken a swipe at Hobson’s six-year-old, upping his rating by ten pounds following that success. To be honest, I was expecting to see him running off 141 or 142 next time out, so I highly doubt whether he’s anywhere near his ceiling and Lord Du Mesnil should be hard to beat as he bids to land a handicap hat-trick.

3:30pm Taunton Invest Southwest Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 3m

Thegallantway finished third in a race that produced the winner and runner-up of a Grade Two at Ascot before Christmas. He also has some useful point-to-point form to his name, having won comfortably over three miles under Jamie Codd back in 2018.

Backing a novice seems the way to go here, but my preference would be for WINTER GETAWAY (NB), as Philip Hobbs’ youngster looks to make it three victories in a row.

A two-time winner between the flags, Hobbs’ mare beat the boys on her first start over obstacles at Stratford, cruising to a comfortable victory over 22 furlongs. Winter Getaway then carried a penalty into battle with Subway Surf, but proved herself to be the class act in the race, bolting up after the last to win by three-and-a-half lengths.

An opening handicap mark of 122 doesn’t seem unfair based on that success and stepping up to three miles will only help the market leader.

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