Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
York’s Dante meeting begins on Wednesday and a dry week is forecast on the Knavesmire with the ground likely to be on the fast side by the time they go to post for the opening race.
Guineas’ fifth Roaring Lion, 2/1 , heads the market for the Dante on Thursday and he was isolated on the stands’ rail in the Newmarket classic for the last couple of furlongs. I feel you can upgrade that effort and I am looking forward to seeing him step up in trip – although he looks more of a French Derby (10f) candidate than Epsom horse on breeding. He is currently 20/1 for the Derby.
I hope to see Baasha (4.40) leave behind his seasonal debut in the 10f 3-year-old handicap at Beverley for Ed Dunlop. The selection was backed into favouritism at Colwick Park so he must have been showing a fair bit on the Newmarket gallops. Dunlop fits the horse with blinkers this afternoon, which suggests the trainer, believes he did not give his best on his reappearance.
I will be disappointed if Dame Nellie (5.10) does not go very close stepped up to a mile-and-a-half for the first time for Rae Guest with Paul Hanagan in the saddle. The selection finished runner up at Salisbury last time (10f) off a 3lbs lower mark on ground, which looked softer than ideal. Today’s step up in trip on faster ground really ought to suit and her trainer has an excellent record with fillies.
A big run from Elysees at Wolverhampton on Monday would be a pointer to the chances of Dagueneau who has also been raised 3lbs for finishing second last time.
Dame Nellie 11/2
At Sedgefield this afternoon, Citadel (2.30) was backed as if defeat was out of the question when he came down five out at Fontwell on his first start for Dan Skelton back in March. He had not been asked a question when coming down and he had jumped well – although slightly out to his right – to that point. He is given a chance to recoup losses – note he had had wind surgery prior to his Fontwell run. Note the selection is 7lbs wrong at the weights but he is still young enough to be a bit better than a mark of 74.
At Wincanton, the recent Windsor winner The Detainee (2.20) can break his maiden tag over jumps for Neil Mulholland. The selection is not yet the most fluent of hurdlers and will get further than 2m in time over timber, but he goes well on fast ground and certainly has the scope for hurdles.
All four who go to post for the three-and-a-quarter mile chase have a realistic chance but I just favour Harry Fry’s Irish import Rise Of An Empire (4.20). The selection finished third on his first start for the yard at Ludlow last month on ground much softer than the official description of good. Today’s faster ground should suit and the hope is that he can improve for his British debut – do note he jumped slightly out to the left on occasions at the Shropshire track.
The Detainee 6/4
Rise Of An Empire 6/4
There is a terrific 2m Handicap Chase at Southwell this evening and Golden Vision (6.00) has had a wind op since pulling up on soft ground at Warwick back in March. The selection drops back in trip on faster ground this evening but I liked the way she jumped last time although this will be a different test of her jumping which was good until she got tired following a long absence.
Golden Vision 9/2