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Today’s Racing News: Gold Cup clues in sensational Savills Chase at Leopardstown

Good morning race fans. No top-class graded action in Britain so we head to Ireland as Daryl Carter searches high and low for angles into Tuesday’s racing.

It’s Tuesday, and it’s the quieter day during this Christmas period in Britain, so we head to Ireland’s Leopardstown for their feature, the Grade 1 Savills Chase, in our race of the day section. Limerick also hosts competitive action on that side of the water, while Catterick, Leicester and Newcastle’s all-weather meeting are the focal points on this side.

Money Talk

Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.

12:10 Catterick – Bitasweetsymphony 7/2 into 9/4
13:38 Leicester – Mahlers Promise 15/4 into 11/4
14:45 Leicester – Jimmy The Digger 15/2 into 11/2

The morning market drifters !

Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?

12:10 Catterick – Nocte Volatus 2/1 OUT 5/2

Mark your card

The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!

Trainer Olly Murphy has a 45% strike rate over hurdles at Leicester, and he sends five runners today with three in the 14:13 Pertemps Network Novices’ Hurdle to take on odds-on favourite Nurse Susan 1.910/11.

Trainer David Pipe has a 35% strike rate with his runners over fences at Leicester. Today he has just one qualifier, Red Happy 5.59/2 14:45 Pertemps Network Leicestershire Silver Fox Handicap Chase. His runner searches for a hattrick of victories after arriving on the back of two chase wins in France and makes his British debut today.

At Catterick in the 12:10 Can Wagnero Back His Race Winner Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase, trainer Sam Allwood has a 67% strike rate over fences. Today he saddles one runner, Bitasweetsymphony 5.04/1.

Trainer Jamie Snowden has an overall 47% strike rate at Catterick. He runs three today, but the most interesting is Representing Bob 3.55/2 in the 13:25 Handicap Chase. Over fences, the trainer is four for five 80%.

Jockey Aidan Coleman makes the trip over to Leopardstown today. He has his first ride for Jessica Harrington on Crosshill 7.513/2 in the 14:55 Ballymaloe Relish Beginners Chase. He has three rides for trainer M F Morris, a trainer he is yet to ride for, but, interestingly, he makes the journey over.

In the 12:00 Savills Maiden Hurdle, Roaring Potter 4.03/1 will look to give Gordon Elliott a third win in five years in this contest. The last two winners of this race have featured prominently at the Cheltenham Festival. Willie Mullins has two useful-looking French recruits, but Roaring Potter caught the eye running on behind Grangee on debut at Fairyhouse, which sets the standard.

Keep an eye out for a Gordon Elliott placed horse in this 13:10 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Leoparadstown. He has had The Storyteller and Sire Du Berlais, both finishing sixth in this race in recent times, both went on to be heavily supported for the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival.

Abacadabras 8.515/2 will step up to 3m for the first time in the 13:45 Dornan Engineering Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. He will take on a host of top names, including the favourite Klassical Dream 3.02/1.

Horses for courses

This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.

13:25 Catterick – Sigurd – Has won here twice (50%)
15:20 Leicester – Applesandpierres – Has won here twice (100%)
17:20 Newcastle – Broctune Red – Has won here five times (29%)
18:20 Newcastle – Cmon Cmon – Has won here twice (20%)
18:50 Newcastle – Royal Advice – Has won here three times (30%)

Weighted to go well

“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.

12:28 Leicester – Monty’s Award – Has won off 122 runs off 104
15:20 Leicester – Applesandpierres – Has won off 121 runs off 102

Form Watch

This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.

Trainer Noel Meade has had five winners from his last 17 runners for a 29% strike rate. All four of his horses today are double-figure odds. He has two running in the 13:10 at Leopardstown, De Name Escapes Me 41.040/1 and Tout Est Permis 34.033/1 and two at Limerick, 12:55 Heisenberg 34.033/1 and 14:05 Hymie Weiss 15.014/1.

Furthest traveller

Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Charles Hills with his runner Ermin Street 5.04/1 in the 16:50 at Newcastle. Hills has a 22% strike rate at this venue and sends just one runner.

Race of the day

It’s rare for this column to take a trip to Ireland, but the 14:20 Savills Chase looks like a cracking contest and similar to that of the King George it has produced upset after upset with just two winning favourites in the last ten years.



Trainer: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Jockey: Rachael Blackmore
Age: 7
Weight: 11st 12lbs

However, A Plus Tard looks every inch a strong favourite this time around and arrives on the back of an excellent win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, but today’s contest looks much stronger on paper, so he will need to step forward again to claim back to back wins in this race.

There is little reason to think he won’t, though, and he easily has the strongest form on offer with his Gold Cup second placed effort in March.

He is two for two here at Leopardstown and seems ground versatile, and in all honesty, there are few chinks in his armour at this time. He must take on some unexposed horses, but he is also after just three runs at this trip.

He ticks all the boxes, and it’s hard to see his colours lowered granted a clear round.



Trainer: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Jockey: Davy Russell
Age: 7
Weight: 11st 12lbs

Galvin has answered every question and was a shade unfortunate in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal last time when held up off a sedate gallop set by Frodon. To his credit, he was able to get within half a length of that horse and today’s stronger run race is sure to play to his strengths.

He is yet another in this field that is on the upgrade and relatively unexposed, and it’s hard to see him out of the frame should he take to this course at the first time of asking. His price looks more than fair from an each-way standpoint should all eight stand their ground, but the slight concern is that he has not run a strong time figure in any race to date, and this will be relentless.



Trainer: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Jockey: Bryony Frost
Age: 6
Weight: 11st 12lbs

The claims of a few others are pretty obvious, but, interestingly, Bryony Frost comes over for the ride on Franco De Port, who is unexposed over staying trips and on more than one occasion, he has suggested going up to 3m would bring out further improvement.

He has a good bit to find on ratings from a win perspective, but as mentioned above, this race has had its fair share of upsets, and this is Bryony’s only ride of the day and just her second for trainer Willie Mullins.

He needs to reverse form with Janidil and has a stiff task on his first run over three miles but could be ridden to pick up the pieces.

Big race verdict

This contest is a cracking race with any amount of these in with chances, and although A Plus Tard is not passed over at all lightly, there are three places on offer with the eight runners. This race has gone to six-year-olds in five of the last six years, and the one that fits the bill is rank outsider FRANCO DE PORT.

He wouldn’t be the most confident selection. Still, he is just as unexposed at this trip as the second favourite Janidil, so may represent some value in the race. He ran a blistering time figure over 2m when landing the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase here and has only seen defeat at the hands of Energumene at this track with form figures of 1, 2.

The trip is a big question mark, but he is entitled to improve for his reappearance in the John Durkan when looking as though he needed the run, and he wasn’t far behind some of today’s market principals in that contest. He has only had seven opportunities over fences scoring in two.

He could pick up the pieces should they go too hard – like A Plus Tard possibly did in this contest the last term – so a very, very small each-way bet at no shorter than 34.033/1 should be taken.

Timeform happy with their three at Leicester

Timeform’s Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Leicester on Wednesday.

Calvin out to claim cash at Leicester today

It may not be top graded action at Catterick and Leicester in front of the ITV cameras on Tuesday but there are still winners to be found, so Tony Calvin is on the case…

Final Word

A cracking day of racing to look forward to in Ireland today, and this meeting usually throws up plenty of clues for the Cheltenham Festival and is always one worth looking back at a few months down the line.

The Christmas punting went extremely well for those interested, even if the tipping was well below par.

For example, Wincanton on Boxing Day was a very profitable time with three winners from seven races and just four bets (clarified by those watching the punters panel on the course), but sod’s law, the loser was the one that went on a column.

Swings and roundabouts, and today is a new day!

Until tomorrow, be lucky!

Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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