Saturday 28 December horse racing tips – Wadham’s 11/8 chance can sail to Leicester win

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections, best bets and tips in every race across all of Saturday's UK and Irish horse racing cards.

Saturday’s fixture list of UK and Irish horse racing meetings takes in six racecards headed by Newbury’s Challow Hurdle racecard, while further jumps racing comes from the cards at Catterick and Leicester.

There is also jumps racing in Ireland with day three of the respective Christmas Festival meetings at both Limerick and Leopardstown where the Grade One Savills Chase is the feature of the afternoon across the premier Irish track.

Completing the fixture list on Saturday is an all-weather fixture on the Lingfield polytrack.

Lingfield (flat, aw) – 11.55 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Newbury (jumps) – 12.05 – 3.35pm (7 races)
Catterick (jumps) – 12.10 – 3.05pm (6 races)
Leopardstown (jumps) – 12.15 – 3.40pm (7 races)
Limerick (jumps) – 12.30 – 3.55pm (7 races)
Leicester (jumps) – 12.55 – 3.45pm (6 races)



(12.25) LAFONTAINE (5/1, William Hill) was a winner two starts ago at Kempton, beating Chateau Peapod by a neck, and Sylvester Kirk’s charge subsequently lost little caste in defeat behind Treaty Of Dingle next time out at Wolverhampton.

He proved no match for the easy winner that day, beaten three lengths, but he remains with scope for better and the drop to seven furlongs ought not to present any issues.

He had tried to make all last time, but his earlier win came when getting a lead into the race and with a fellow front-runner in opposition here then that could be the case again, and he can strike this time around.

(2.10) PETIT PALAIS (14/1, Bet365) is a very interesting contender in this contest representing Tom George, and the Champs Elysees gelding could be worth siding with on his return to the flat.

A winner over this trip on the Wolverhampton tapeta last September when trained by John Gosden, he has shown useful form over hurdles for his current yard and he struck in two of his first three outings at Ludlow and Stratford respectively having failed to cut the mustard in the Adonis Hurdle inbetween those successes.

Possibly amiss on his next outing, he hasn’t set the heather alight in his two starts this term over timber; but he’ll certainly be fit ahead of his return to the level where a mark of 80 could prove to be very workable, and still unexposed in this discipline he could go well if handling polytrack.

Tom George doesn’t send many into battle on the level, so the presence of the Champs Elysees gelding in this field is noteworthy, and he looks on a decent mark so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big effort from him here.

11.55 – French Twist
12.25 – Lafontaine
1.35 – Grisons
2.10 – Petit Palais
2.45 – Kipps
3.20 – Bridgewater Bay

Trainer Tom George saddles a runner on the Lingfield all-weather on Saturday.


(1.15) DEFI SACRE (2/1, William Hill) arrives here on a hat-trick of successes, and the Network gelding can collect having won over course and distance last time.

Also a Musselburgh winner earlier in the month, he beat Le Coeur Net by one length latest under a penalty, and that runner-up franked the form on Boxing Day.

He escapes a subsequent penalty for that success here, and likely to have more to offer he can continue his progression to strike again assuming of course that this outing doesn’t come too soon in the wake of recent exertions.

(2.25) COBOLOBO (5/1, Ladbrokes) faced a couple of stiff tasks when switched to chasing, but Jonjo O’Neill’s charge acquitted himself well in defeat when making the frame behind Kilbricken Storm and Reikers Island respectively, and he was still travelling well when unseating his rider in the Devon National back in February.

The Maresca Sorrento gelding was fair over hurdles, scoring here in heavy ground back in January 2017, but his time over timber ended on a low note with a pair of pulled up efforts; and he also pulled up on his seasonal debut over the larger obstacles back in October when contesting an amateur riders’ contest at Cheltenham.

That run might have been needed, and he latterly ran out a four lengths’ winner on his next outing at Haydock earlier in the month where he beat The Ogle Gogle Man readily. He’s been hit with a 7lbs rise as a consequence, but he handles these conditions well and could have more to come as a chaser so might be worth chancing despite his climb in the ratings to follow up that win.

12.05 – Sunrise Ruby
12.40 – Mister Coffey
1.15 – Defi Sacre
1.50 – Sevarano
2.25 – Cobolobo
3.00 – Thyme Hill
3.35 – Kateson

Thymehill can win Saturday’s Challow Hurdle at Newbury.


(1.20) WHAT’S THE SCOOP (SP) showed only moderate form for Nicky Henderson earlier in his career, but he’s been lightly raced in recent seasons for Sue Smith, and the Presenting gelding could be worth chancing to get off the mark here and shed his maiden tag.

Pulled up over hurdles on his return from six months off at Hexham in October, he has finished fourth on both starts back over fences and latterly was beaten around twelve lengths behind Mymilan in heavy ground at Carlisle.

However, the form of his earlier fourth over a longer trip reads well with the winner going in twice since, and the handicapper has cut him some slack from his last run having eased him 2lbs. This doesn’t look the strongest of races, and he may be able to make his presence felt in what looks a very winnable contest.

(2.30) WARENDORF (3/1, William Hill) has shown progressive form over fences this term, getting off the mark at the fourth attempt having run with credit in defeat previously, scoring at Wetherby earlier in the month with a defeat of Hard Knocks.

Stuart Coltherd’s charge lost little caste in defeat back over a shorter trip at Carlisle two weeks ago, beaten just over one length behind Mymilan, and the Speedmaster gelding could go one better here from just 4lbs higher in the weights.

A former winner between the flags, the step up to three miles is unlikely to faze him, and he handles these conditions well so it would be no surprise to see him competitive again.

12.10 – Paddling
12.45 – Quart De Garde
1.20 – What’s The Scoop
1.55 – Designer Destiny
2.30 – Warendorf
3.05 – Maison D’or


(12.50) THE STORYTELLER (10/1, William Hill) got back on the scoresheet when successful back over hurdles at Clonmel earlier in the month, and Gordon Elliott’s charge might be able to follow up here.

The Shantou gelding won the 2018 Brown Advisory Plate at the Cheltenham Festival before adding Grade One success to his CV with a win at Punchestown in the April of that year when claiming the Growise Champion Novice Chase.

Things didn’t go to plan last term, but he was highly tried throughout and did post come very creditable efforts including when finishing third to Kemboy in the Punchestown Gold Cup back in May. Although disappointing on his reappearance at Gowran Park in the PWC Champion Chase, he ran well in defeat when sent Stateside for the Grand National Hurdle at Far Hills, and he latterly ran out a ready winner over Mary Frances latest where he scored by just over one length.

The likes of Total Recall and Rathvinden were both behind him, and he escapes a penalty for that win so can turn out here from the same mark, and he is still unexposed over this longer trip so may well have more to offer here where conditions will be no problem.

(2.35) ENCORE LUI (SP) has hit the crossbar in two competitive handicap contests since returning from a break, finding only Dolly’s Destination and Bythesametoken too strong in respective outings at Navan last month, and Elizabeth Doyle’s charge could be worth chancing to go one better here.

The Al Namix gelding has only had a handful of starts over timber, and he was only beaten four lengths last time out having only been able to muster up one pace and he could be better served by this step up in trip.

He is only 2lbs higher in the weights here than for his last outing, and still relatively unexposed after only six starts over obstacles there is some reason to believe he might have more to offer still, and he could post a big effort here from a mark which remains workable.

12.15 – The Bosses Oscar
12.50 – The Storyteller
1.25 – Allaho
2.00 – Penhill
2.35 – Encore Lui
3.10 – Kemboy
3.40 – Ferney Hollow

Kemboy can win successive Savills Chase titles.


(1.05) FULLY CHARGED (SP) offered something to work on when finding only one too strong on his hurdles debut at Punchestown last month, and with that experience under his belt Henry de Bromhead’s charge can go one better here.

The Fair Mix gelding has won between the flags, and he was beaten just over one length behind Alpine Cobra in that debut effort where he was giving the winner 5lbs. That form looks all the better now with the winner having since made the frame in a Grade Three contest, and likely to improve for the initial experience he could get off the mark now.

With the services of a good 7lbs claimer adding further credence to his winning claims, he looks to have been found a decent opportunity to open his account, and every chance he can take advantage here.

(2.50) GLENLOE (SP) ran a creditable fifth behind Faugheen on his reappearance at Punchestown last month, and there could be better still to come from Gordon Elliott’s charge over fences after just four starts in this discipline.

The Kayf Tara gelding showed himself to be a very capable hurdler, getting to within a nose of Delta Work in the 2018 Pertemps Final, and he has ran better than his bare form figures over fences suggest; latterly catching the eye when running on late in the recent Foxrock Handicap Chase behind the reopposing Minella Times.

A heavy ground winner over hurdles,he turns out here from the same mark as last time, and if none the worse for those exertions then every chance he can go close.

12.30 – General Counsel
1.05 – Fully Charged
1.40 – Eagle Roque
2.15 – Se Mo Laoch
2.50 – Glenloe
3.25 – Stones And Roses
3.55 – Julies Stowaway


(1.30) TRINCOMALEE (11/8, Bet365) has run to a fair level on both hurdles starts this term, finishing third on both outings at Sandown and Newbury respectively, and the Malinas gelding can score here.

Lucy Wadham’s charge won a Warwick bumper back in May, beating Killer Clown, and he hasn’t been beaten far in either of his hurdles starts behind Keen On and Son Of Camas respectively.

His narrow defeat behind the first-named rival has been franked since, and he sets a useful standard for the others to aim at; while he is open himself to improvement, and every chance he can strike here.

(3.15) MASTERS APPRENTICE (7/2, Unibet) has taken well to hurdling since switching from the flat, and the Mastercraftsman gelding can continue to show progress on just his fourth start in this sphere.

Only a moderate sort on the flat for Sylvester Kirk, has has shown an aptitude for this game since joining Mark Walford, scoring on his first attempt over hurdles at Uttoxeter and then finding only Minella Trump too strong on his next outing having also bagged a silver medal on the flat at Catterick inbetween.

He then got back to winning ways with a ready success over Jackson Hill at Sedgefield latest where he ran out a seven lengths’ winner, rallying well having been outpaced.

The runner-up has done the form no harm with a good effort in defeat on Boxing Day, and while the handicapper hasn’t missed him with an 8lbs rise in the weights, he remains unexposed and could have better still to come.

Both his wins have come on soft ground, and while he has to prove as effective in even more testing conditions he could be worth chancing to follow up his latest win here despite his hike up the ratings.

12.55 – Captain Blackpearl
1.30 – Trincomalee
2.05 – Itchy Feet
2.40 – Glance Back
3.15 – Masters Apprentice
3.45 – Finnegan’s Garden


12.25 Lingfield – LAFONTAINE (5/1, William Hill)

12.50 Leopardstown – THE STORYTELLER (10/1, William Hill)

1.05 Limerick – FULLY CHARGED (SP)

1.15 Newbury – DEFI SACRE (2/1, William Hill)

1.20 Catterick – WHAT’S THE SCOOP (SP)

1.30 Leicester – TRINCOMALEE (11/8, Bet365)

2.10 Lingfield – PETIT PALAIS (14/1, Bet365)

2.25 Newbury – COBOLOBO (5/1, Ladbrokes)

2.30 Catterick – WARENDORF (3/1, William Hill)

2.35 Leopardstown – ENCORE LUI (SP)

2.50 Limerick – GLENLOE (SP)

3.15 Leicester – MASTERS APPRENTICE (7/2, Unibet)