Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
Enable is 5/1 to win a third Arc at Longchamp next October after her successful gusty defence of her crown in Paris on Sunday. Runner up Sea Of Class is 6/1 to go one better than last year but you wonder if her chance of Arc glory has gone with William Haggas’s filly, seemingly, ground dependent.
More immediately Enable is 4/5 to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs next month with Sea Of Class 4/1 for the Fillies’ & Mares Turf over 10f.
Leicester’s card begins with a cracking mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-olds. Spirit Ridge – in the colours of Arc winner Enable – was no match for Outbox at Ffos Las last time when trying to give Simon Crisford’s unbeaten son of Frankel 7lbs. Outbox is now rated 95 and with that in mind Spirit Ridge should be competitive from an opening mark of 85.
The marginal vote, however, goes to Scaramanga (2.15) who would have finished closer with a clear passage at Newmarket (July) when last seen back in August. The colt is 1lb lower this afternoon, has a good draw and the services of Oisin Murphy for the first time.
Murphy also rides Huge Future (3.50) who will need a career best performance to win off a mark of 104 but was a facile winner at Haydock from a 5lbs lower mark last time. That was on good to soft ground and the ground is described as good this afternoon. Hat-trick seeking Byron Flyer looks the principle danger and he is just 4lbs higher than when winning at Newmarket last time.
Huge Future 11/10
Forest View was no match for Outbox at Leicester last time, but she is unlikely to face anything of that calibre at Newcastle this evening in the 12f Novice event. She must go close but Marechal Ney (5.45) promises to be well served by the step up to 12f for the first time having finished runner up at Sandown when last seen in June. His subsequent absence from the track is a slight concern, but this lightly-raced colt is taken to break his maiden tag.
The filly Mulhima (6.15) has hinted in her two starts that she would improve for the step up to a mile and Marco Botti’s charge gets the vote in the Fillies’ Mile Novice auction event. The selection receives 15lbs from the unbeaten Merinque and that looks the key.
Marechal Ney 6/5
There is a good jumps card at Galway including a valuable Chase over the same distance (2m6f) as the Plate. Rashaan (3.45) won a Grade 3 Chase here over 2m 2f back in August and that form has been franked by the subsequent win of runner up Ornua. Trainer Colin Kidd has suggested that the 2019 Galway Plate would be a long-term target and he gets the vote ahead of the willie Mullins-trained Minella Beau.
I’m looking forward to the Beginners’ Chase and Mind’s Eye (4.15) gets the vote for Gigginstown. The 6-y-old finished fourth in an Aintree Grade 1 Novice Hurdle back in the spring and this intermediate 2m 2f trip looks ideal.
In the finale Jeremy’s Flame (5.20) can improve on this better ground having finished 4th on debut over C&D. Jamie Codd takes over for Gavin Cromwell this afternoon and she can reward each way support.
Mind’s Eye 15/8
Jeremy’s Flame 11/1