Saturday is sure to be a thriller as far as horse racing is concerned, with the ever-competitive Welsh Grand National taking place at Chepstow and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
Those are two of the more high-profile races of the day, although plenty of other action is set to go ahead across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Coral Welsh Grand National (Grade 3 Handicap Chase)
Racing legend, Tidal Bay will take to the course where he won the Lexus Chase on the same day last year, in a bid to land another huge triumph in the National.
He is the oldest and heaviest horse in the line-up, however he is by far the classiest horse in the field and you can rely on him to run well at 10/1 with Paddy Power. The ground is expected to be heavier than when Nicholls’ 12-year-old won the Bet365 Gold Cup which may make it a more difficult task.
Well Refreshed and Goonyella are 8/1 joint favourites with most firms and the former is known to stay. Trainer Jim Dreaper won this race back in 2008 with Notre Pere, who was ridden by jockey Andrew Lynch.
He is on board again on Saturday and the 6-year-old warrants major respect. Hawkes Point represents decent value at 10/1 and acts on heavy, whilst Hey Big Spender and Red Rocco are another two worth a small bet at valuable odds.
coral.co.uk Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)
The other main race at Chepstow is the Future Champions Hurdle, which looks rather tricky for those betting. Kentucky Hyden is best price 2/1 favourite with William Hill, however he was beaten by a 33/1 outsider at Cheltenham last time.
Paul Nicholls’ 3-year-old Solar Impulse has some decent French form, but will probably have to improve for this and it is unknown whether Violet Dancer has what it takes to perform at this level.
Le Rocher is Nick Williams’ entry and won his first two races in France before being outclassed latest. He is 6/1 with most leading firms and may improve.
Lexus Chase (Grade 1)
In another of the more competitive races of the day, last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth will bid to get back to winning ways in the Lexus Chase.
Henderson’s class-act flopped massively at Haydock on his return when he could only manage sixth place. He has beaten a number of these rivals in the past though and if he can return to his best, the 5/2 odds are a steal.
Sir Des Champs proved how good he is when finishing second to Bobs Worth in the Gold Cup last year and has won 10 of his 18 overall races. He suffered a horror fall on his return at Punchestown, however if he can get over that he has every chance of winning this.
Unioniste is known to stay well and may well improve again for this. The odds of 9/2 with Ladbrokes will look extremely tempting for some punters. First Lieutenant, Lord Windermere and Rubi Ball all warrant each-way respect.
woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1)
Last year’s top stayer, Solwhit will return to the track at Leopardstown tomorrow, when he looks to fend off a small five horse field in the Christmas Hurdle. He is 8/11 favourite and had 10/3 second favourite Zaidpour behind when finishing second to Gemix in the French Champion Hurdle and that result is likely to repeat itself again here.
Rule The World did not seem to be tiring when finishing second to The New One over 2m 5f, so he is an interesting contender at 17/2 with Bet Victor.
BET OF THE DAY:
Limerick 1:35 – FAUGHEEN to win – Large bet
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