Saturday’s Daily Double – 5/1 double covering races at Thurles and Haydock

Jon Vine rolls his NAP of the day and his NB into this Daily Double, covering races at Thurles and Haydock on Saturday 21st December.

It’s been a baron week so far, but I have one more chance to redeem myself before Christmas! As part of our Daily Tips, I’ve rolled my NAP and Next Best on Saturday into this double. Best odds available here with Ladbrokes.

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Friday’s Daily Double

1:55pm Thurles Irish Stallion Farms EBF Boreen Belle Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed Race) 2m

She may have two of Willie Mullins’ mares to take care of, but JEREMY’S FLAME (NB) looks to be a very strong favourite for this Listed Hurdle for novices, and still offers value on her current price of 6/4.

Gavin Cromwell’s youngster won nicely on her hurdles debut – beating Saturday’s rival Rebel Og by nine lengths – before stepping up into open company and finishing a decent fourth in a Listed Mares’ Hurdle at Gowran Park. Back in novice company at Down Royal, Jeremy’s Flame was much more competitive, pushing the impressive Daylight Katie all the way to the line in the Grade Three Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Cromwell then sent his budding star over to Newbury for their Winter Carnival and Jeremy’s Flame ran a cracker behind Floressa, passing the post less than two lengths behind Nicky Henderson’s impressive winner. This looks to be a step down in quality compared to what she’s faced on her three previous assignment and I can’t see either the course or the ground upsetting the favouite.

3:15pm Haydock (Brush) Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 2m3f

Poetic Rhythm managed to win the Grade One Challow Hurdle as a novice, beating Mulcahys Hill in a hard, slog of a race on heavy ground. Things didn’t go to plan over fence last term and Fergal O’Brien’s charge could struggle under top-weight, having been off the track for over 400 days.

Captain Moriette was also last seen over fences and could be well-handicapped should he take to the smaller obstacles. Even if he does, I doubt he will be good enough to deny CHTI BALKO (NAP) and, at 13/8, he could just be my best bet of the day.

Donald McCain’s seven-year-old finished third in this race 12 months ago off a mark six pounds higher than what he carries on Saturday. Chti Balko is a two-time course winner here at Haydock, all four of his career wins have come on heavy ground and McCain’s charge comes into this on the back of a tremendous ten-length triumph at Bangor, where he trounced Burrows Park with 11-10 on his back. Chti Balko looks rock-solid to me!

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