Racing Daily with BetVictor – Dec 19

Confirmation from trainer Colin Tizzard on Wednesday morning that former King George VI Chase winner Thistlecrack will join stablemate Lostintranslation in the field at Kempton for the mid-season showpiece on Boxing Day.

Tizzard also reported that former Welsh National winner Native River will not run over the Festive period and will just have the one more run before he bids to regain his Gold Cup crown which he won back in 2018. Thistlecrack is 16/1 with BetVictor for the King George while Native River is 16s for the Gold Cup and 25/1 for the Grand National at BetVictor.

No confirmation from the Paul Nicholls yard who stable jockey Harry Cobden will ride and BetVictor bet ½ it will be Cyrname – conqueror of Altior last time – and 6/4 Clan Des Obeaux who won the corresponding race 12 months ago.

There is further rain forecast for Exeter today and conditions are likely to be extremely testing for their seven-race card which begins with a mares’ novices’ hurdle. Misty Whisky (12.50) lacked fluency on her hurdles debut at Market Rasen when runner up although she is likely to have been extensively schooled by Harry Fry since her seasonal reappearance which was two-months ago.

The selection won a listed Bumper at Sandown last term and she also showed a tendency to jump out to her right in Lincolnshire. If her jumping holds up she can take advantage of the 6lbs she receives from recent Leicester winner Eleanor Bob.

Winning novice hurdler Vinnie Dev (2.20) may not have got home over an extended 2m 5f at Ascot last time when third in a decent race, and he drops back in trip for his handicap debut. The horse who finished runner up at Ascot was Redford Road and he went on to frank the form when winning the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett trial at Cheltenham last weekend. Noel Williams trains the selection who will make a smashing chaser in time.

The valuable near two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase is a belter and both Johnbb (3.20) and Eceparti did us a favour last time and the former gets the vote for Tom Lacey stepping back up in trip. The selection won over the minimum trip at Sandown last time from a 6lbs lower mark and jockey Robbie Power interviewed post-race on Racing TV suggested the 6-y-old would be at least as effective over the extra half-mile going forward.

Eceparti has been raised 11lbs for scoring at Chepstow last time and you could argue that he is 16lbs higher in the weights as conditional Hugh Nugent took off 5lbs last time. Do note Le Coeur Net was due to race at Newbury yesterday and must be considered a doubtful runner at the time of writing.

Special Princess (12.40) is chasing a hat-trick and is 10lbs higher than when scoring at Ffos Las last time for Rebecca Curtis. The mare is rising 10 but is in the form of her life and has certainly blossomed since moving to her new yard.

In the 2m Novices Handicap Chase I’m going to take a chance on Saint De Vassy (2.10) who jumped well at Chepstow on his chase debut and tanked his way though the race before a combination of stamina and a mistake three out halted his progress. The selection remains a maiden but is lightly-raced and this is his first start over two miles since he finished runner up at Chepstow over hurdles back in January.

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