Sunday horse racing tips 8 December – Greatrex’s 9/4 chance can Bague Grade Two win at Huntingdon

Get Brian Healy's Sunday horse racing tips, race-by-race selections and best bets for every UK and Irish racemeeting going to post throughout the afternoon.

Four meetings round off the week’s UK and Irish horse racing action, and there is action from Kelso where it is Borders National Day, and also from Huntingdon where the Grade Two Peterborough Chase takes centre-stage on their fixture.

Meanwhile, in Ireland there is further jumps action from Cork where it is Hilly Way Chase day, and the Grade Two feature is joined on the card by Grade Three action; while Punchestown’s jumps fixture sees Grade One action with the John Durkan Memorial Chase taking centre-stage.

Kelso (jumps) – 12.15 – 3.15pm (7 races)
Punchestown (jumps) – 12.20 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Huntingdon (jumps) – 12.30 – 3.30pm (7 races)
Cork (jumps) – 12.35 – 3.35pm (7 races)



(12.45) AYE RIGHT (11/8, Bet365) found only one too good at Carlisle last month when bidding for a hat-trick of wins, and Harriet Graham’s charge can quickly get back to winning ways here.

The Yeats gelding won four times last campaign, three of which came over this track over shorter distances than what he is competing over here; but he won over this trip at Ayr on his final outing of last season, and he followed up that success back at this track following six months off when beating One Night In Milan in September.

Denied by just over one length latest, that form has been boosted and he could improve for a switch to chasing now. This longer trip is of no consequence, and assuming he takes to the larger obstacles then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him posting a bold effort as he tries to get back on the scoresheet.

(1.45) RUBYTWO (3/1, William Hill) showed a decent level of form over hurdles last term, making the frame on a handful of occasions, and Nicky Richards’ charge shaped well on her reappearance following six months off the trac at Wetherby at the start of last month.

A bumper winner here a couple of seasons ago, the Sulamani mare was beaten six lengths behind No Trumps on that occasion; but she ought to strip fitter for the reapperance and could prove a different proposition here where she races from the same mark.

The form of that reappearance has been franked with the winner along with the third and fourth horses home all winning since, and she rates a big player who ought to go close.

12.15 – Captain Blackpearl
12.45 – Aye Right
1.15 – Weststreet
1.45 – Rubytwo
2.15 – Cultram Abbey
2.45 – Maid O’malley
3.15 – Skyhill

Kelso are racing on Sunday where it is Borders Grand National Day.


(1.20) ARTIC PEARL (5/1, William Hill) has been lightly raced in the past couple of seasons, scoring over hurdles at Punchestown last December, and he returned from a break back at that venue in October where he was in the process of running a solid reappearance over fences when unseating his rider.

He had made a couple of mistakes in that race prior to his exit, but he showed the benefit of the run to finish fourth latest although beaten a fair way behind Stylish Moment. That form subsequently looks fair with the winner since posting back-to-back runner-up efforts in decent contests, while the runner-up has won since.

He reverts to hurdling here where he is just 1lb higher in the ratings, and the application of cheekpieces for this latest outing could help him to find some measure of improvement with Davy Russell now in the saddle.

(1.50) Min won this race twelve months ago on his reappearance, and Willie Mullins’ charge bids to follow up; but it could be worth siding with one of the yards’ other runners in REAL STEEL (9/1, Coral) who can continue to show improvement and reel off a hat-trick of wind over fences.

The Loup Breton gelding won two of his first three starts over fences last term, falling on debut before scoring at Fairyhouse and Thurles respectively, and although he met with defeat the next twice those runs came behind Defi Du Seuil in the JLT Novices’ Chase and also the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse behind Voix Du Reve before getting back on the scoresheet at Punchestown in May with a defeat of Hardline.

One of four in the race for the Closutton trainer, he returned from six months off the track to beat Secret Investor by a wide margin in the Grade Two Daily Mirror Chase where he wasn’t extended, and while this tougher he could have further improvement to come and he can make his presence felt here.

12.20 – Quartz Du Rheu
12.50 – Minella Melody
1.20 – Artic Pearl
1.50 – Real Steel
2.20 – Dunvegan
2.50 – Castafiore Park
3.20 – Jungle Junction

Willie Mullins can win the Sunday feature at Punchestown.


(1.30) MAGIC DANCER (6/1, William Hill) hasn’t won since scoring at Cheltenham back in April last year, but the Norse Dancer gelding ran several creditable races in defeat last term, and Kerry Lee’s charge shaped with encouragement at Newbury last month on his reappearance when finishing fourth behind Zanza.

He finished off that race well having gotten himself outpaced, and he possibly just needed the run in any case. However, he should strip fitter now, and having been eased 2lbs in the weights he could be capable of improving on that return to action and end his losing streak.

Only 2lbs above his last winning mark, he chased home the high-class Al Dancer from just 1lb lower last term when finishing runner-up in the Betfair Hurdle, and a repeat of that effort could be good enough to see him get back on the scoresheet.

(2.00) LA BAGUE AU ROI (9/4, Paddy Power) developed into a very smart chaser last term, and the Doctor Dino mare can bounce back from a lacklustre effort at Wetherby on her reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase.

Warren Greatrex’s charge progressed markedly over the larger obstacles in her last campaign, winning her first four starts which included Grade Ones at both Kempton and Leopardstown, and she subsequently lost no caste in defeat when chasing home Kalashnikov at Aintree on her final outing in the Grade One Manifesto Chase.

Reportedly in season following her disappointing return, the ground at Wetherby might not have been too her liking, and back on a less testing surface she could do better here where she can bounce back to winning form and land this Grade Two prize.

12.30 – Dan Gun
1.00 – Slate House
1.30 – Magic Dancer
2.00 – La Bague Au Roi
2.30 – West Cork
3.00 – She’s A Rocca
3.30 – Ballycrystal Court

Huntingdon are racing on Sunday, featuring the Grade Two Peterborough Chase.


(1.05) TECUMSEH SHERMAN (SP) shaped well in a handful of bumper races over the summer either side of a break, twice finishing runner-up before scoring at Downpatrick in September, and Philip Martin’s charge ran well in defeat faced with hurdles for the first time at Down Royal latest when finishing third behind Fury Road.

The King’s Theatre gelding ought to come on for that experience, and the winner of that contest looked smart and has since won a Grade Three contest.

Faced with less testing ground and dropping in trip for this latest outing, he could improve on the back of that effort and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him going close here.

(3.35) TINTANGLE (10/1, Coral) is 2-2 over fences, and the Yeats mare can land the hat-trick despite having to give away weight all round to this field.

Gordon Elliott’s charge was fair over hurdles, but she has taken her form up a notch with wins at Fairyhouse and Clonmel respectively, and she can take another forward step here where she has the potential for better yet.

She latterly ran out a near-three lengths’ winner over The Caddy Rose last time out, making all and appearing to win a shade readily, and while this is tougher up in class into a Grade Three where she has to concede 4lbs to her rivals she could prove equal to the task and she can land her three-timer if able to race her game another notch.

12.35 – Pasley
1.05 – Tecumseh Sherman
1.35 – Larquebuse
2.05 – Powersbomb
2.35 – Cilaos Emery
3.05 – Tintangle
3.35 – The Chapel Field


12.45 Kelso – AYE RIGHT (11/8, Bet365)


1.20 Punchestown – ARTIC PEARL (5/1, William Hill)

1.30 Huntingdon – MAGIC DANCER (6/1, William Hill)

1.45 Kelso – RUBYTWO (3/1, William Hill)

1.50 Punchestown – REAL STEEL (9/1, Coral)

2.00 Huntington – LA BAGUE AU ROI (9/4, Paddy Power)

3.35 Cork – TINTANGLE (10/1, Coral)