Cheltenham Christmas Cheer
Friday Racing Analysis
This is the season to be festive and we’re certainly enjoying a feast of jumps racing available this weekend. There are plenty of interesting races to tickle your fancy over the coming days at Cheltenham as we look ahead to the big festival in Spring.
Will there be magic in the Majordomo?
The Majordomo Handicap Chase attracts the big boys of racing on the first day of this Cheltenham double header. Set over 3 mile 2 furlong, the race incorporates part of the cross country course so isn’t for the light hearted. Won last year by gutsy ten-year-old Monbeg Dude, this year’s card is full of potential including Pigeon Island who placed third in the contest last December.
High profile trainers such as Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Nigel Twiston-Davies will be looking to getthis race weekend off to a good start. However on current form this race could becomedecided before it’s even started as Samstownlooks to be the one to watch.
Withdrawn last week at Aintree by Alistair Whillans, this afternoon’s race is step down in distance for Samstown. Ridden today by Brian Hughes, he overshadowed challengers in his last race at Kelso winning by an impressive 19 lengths. On good to soft ground, he could be fresher this afternoon which could give him the edge this afternoon.
A challenge could come in the form of Pigeon Island and Nigel Twiston-Davies, third in this contest last year, the eleven-year-old will be looking to go a few steps further this time round. Second at Aintree last month, he battled hard before being beaten by a neck.
Samstown seems to be the pick of the bunch today and at 13/2 he is a good price
Cheltenham 12:30 Friday 12th December
Six-year-old Sausalito Sunrise can add to trainer Philip Hobbs win record at Cheltenham Friday afternoon if his strength shines through. Having a run under his belt over the same course and distance should play to his advantage and after a gutsy performance last time out, he is expected to improve and rediscover his previous form.
Victorious three times this year in the safe hands of Tom O’Brien, the man who will be in the saddle this afternoon, he has won by a collective 24 lengths over similar distances at Perth, Chepstow and Bangor over similar distances could prove to his advantage.
Early View On Saturday: Nigel Twiston-Davies To Take International Hurdle
Sometimes overlooked due to the likes of Nicholls and Henderson, Nigel Twiston-Davies has an impressive stock in his training yard. His six-year-old The New One is favourite to take the Stanjames.com International Hurdle and after winning his last three outing in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies, including defeating Rock on Ruby, you wouldn’t put it past him to be victorious on Saturday.
With strong changes over the coming days especially Hollow Blue Sky in the two mile five furlong Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase he is certainly one to watch.