We’re just two weeks away from a very busy festive period where we’ll no doubt see some of racings biggest star horses.
It looks as thought it could definitely be a good weekend for punters and favourite backers as there are plenty of likely short-priced horses I think will be tough to beat.
Message Personnel (12:05) has arrived at Dan Skelton’s yard with a nice reputation from France. We’ve seen how Dan campaigns his horses and it has to be telling he’s willing to start this horse off at this level and at this track.
The Skeltons will likely have a quickfire double as if My Drogo (12:40) stands up, he should win the second. He was coming to win his race on his debut over fences at Cheltenham last month but tipped up in dramatic fashion. He’s simply the best horse in this race. If he jumps, he wins.
Fusil Raffles (13:50) must have a solid chance in the feature handicap chase, mustn’t he? He’s got plenty of good form in the book in his career over both hurdles and fences.
He was a fortunate winner of the Charlie Hall Chase last time up, but he’s got other good form. He’s run well at Cheltenham on a number of occasions, and I think he’ll go close in a really competitive race.
Sceau Royal (15:00) was just a nod-and-a-bob away from winning a Fighting Fifth Hurdle last time out. He’s been as good as ever this season, winning twice before that unlucky second. He goes on the ground, travels well and his trainer Alan King has his horses in grand old form. He’s the one to beat in my eyes.
At Doncaster, the two feature races look likely to go to the two likely favourites. You couldn’t fault what Threeunderthrufive (12:55) did at Cheltenham last time and if he’s in the same form as he was that day, he’ll be tough to beat. He’s a strong stayer and a good jumper of a fence.
Porticello (14:40) created some impression when he won at Wetherby on his first start for Gary Moore at the start of the jump season. He’s got a strong reputation and the word was good for him before his first run and he’s clearly been kept for this graded contest.
In Ireland, it’s great to see Paul Townend back in the saddle. We’re really going to start seeing the best of the horses from the biggest yards now and I’m really excited to see two from Willies Mullins’s camp make their debuts over fences.
Blue Lord (11:30) was a high-class hurdler who will no doubt pay his way over fences if he takes to them. He ran in all of the top novice hurdle races last season and should be too good for these.
Stattler (12:00) is another horse I’m sweet on. He is a really nice stamp of a horse who was always going to be better over fences. It’s likely he’ll be working backwards from the National Hunt Chase or the Festival Novice Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and this is the first step on that road.
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