Racing Daily with BetVictor – Dec 19

The owners of Presenting Percy (9/2 favourite for the Gold Cup at BetVictor) suggested on Tuesday that the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on Friday 28th December was the likely venue for his belated seasonal reappearance and he is 4/1 with BetVictor for that Grade 1 prize.

Connections are praying for rain with the alternative a crack at the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day but that would involve the logistics of sending the horse over before Christmas and having to fork out a £10,000 supplementary fee. Presenting Percy remains 6/1 at BetVictor for Kempton but it appears increasingly likely that he will remain in Ireland until the Festival in March.

The ground at Newbury was described as good to soft yesterday at the time of writing, but there was significant rain forecast to hit the Berkshire track and I think it prudent to look at today’s card as if the ground was soft.

Style De Vole (12.30) won at Newcastle on debut and the form was franked when the runner up Oi The Club Oi’S finished a close third in a listed contest at Cheltenham last weekend. The Nicky Henderson-trained juvenile won a Saint Cloud maiden on his sole flat start and looks open to significant improvement for a yard who took the corresponding race 12 months ago.

Sunset Showdown (1.40) was lightly-raced for Rebecca Curtis over timber last season but did win his sole point in his native Ireland when he had Chosen Path – who reopposes on 4lbs worse terms – back in third. The selection is ridden by Richie McLernon which is a slight concern given JP McManus’s number one jockey Barry Geraghty, who rides Style De Vole in the opener, does not take the ride. The yard of Rebecca Curtis were under a cloud for much of last season but have made an encouraging start to this campaign.

Drinks Interval will be a short price to recoup losses in the listed Mares’ Chase, having looked an unlucky loser at Market Rasen last time when coming down three out while holding a clear lead. I just feel Colin Tizzard’s mare might be worth opposing, however, as she can jump low at her fences and preference is for the Skelton’s Molly The Dolly (2.10) unbeaten in two starts over fences this term.

The selection would be receiving 8lbs from the likely favourite is this were a handicap, but I would prefer to be with the progressive Tizzard mare.

Henderson saddles a couple of potential decent sorts in the Novice Hurdle over 2m 4f including Downtown Getaway who cost connections £350,000 after winning his sole point in Ireland. The gelding hasn’t seen the track for over 12 months but shouldn’t lack for fitness, but I am a big admirer of the unbeaten Emitom (2.45) who won both Bumpers before scoring at Ffos Las on his hurdles debut. This is a terrific race and there will be a number of winners who come out of the race, but the penalised Warren Greatrex runner gets the nod.

Sir Egbert (3.15) has been raised 3lbs for finishing second – returning from an 8-month break – at Ffos Las on his chase debut and is taken to go one better with that experience under his belt for tom Lacey.

At Ludlow Good Boy Bobby (12.20) can bounce back after a slightly disappointing effort at Ffos Las on heavy ground last time. The selection won three of his four Bumpers and won at Carlisle on his hurdles debut for Nigel Twiston-Davies.

In the feature £25,000 handicap Chase I hope to see Spider’s bite go one better than when runner up at Ascot on his chase debut and he can reward each way support in a cracking 3m chase for the local yard of Henry Daly. Note the selection was taken out of a contest at Carlisle recently on account of the heavy ground – conditions were described as good to soft on Tuesday.

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