Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 7th December 2019

UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 7th December 2019

UK Racing Best Bets

Neil Morrice walks you through his best bets for Saturday 7th December's racing at Aintree, Sandown Park, 
Wetherby, and Chepstow. He includes an analysis on the Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree, as well as the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park. Get your bets on now with Hollywoodbets!

Preview from Neil Morrice

Aintree
Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase

The ‘horses for courses’ adage is rarely better embraced than when trying to find winners over the famous Aintree fences. True, these obstacles are a far cry from what they were and especially the once dreaded Becher’s Brook which is now the easiest fence to be negotiated. Nevertheless, it’s those with previous winning experience that tend to run well here and in the race that commemorates Captain Martin Becher the ones to look at most closely are ONE FOR ARTHUR and VIEUX LION ROUGE.

One For Arthur hasn’t managed a frame finish since his victory in the 2017 National but in fairness to Lucinda Russell’s charge he’s spent most of that time sidelined by injury. And to his credit, he again advertised how much he likes Aintree by finishing sixth to Tiger Roll here in April. Once again he’d endured a troubled preparation but according to his trainer he is now performing on an even keel and has thrived since finishing fourth on his comeback at Kelso in October.

The winner that day was VIEUX LION ROUGE who has more experience of the Grand National course than any horse in training. David Pipe’s charge has completed in three Nationals, won this race in 2016 and finished runner-up behind WALK IN THE MILL in it last year. A comeback triumph by the gelding at Chepstow augers well for him putting in another big run as the form from that veterans’ chase has worked out. Furthermore his disappointing subsequent run over hurdles is best ignored as he didn’t get the strong pace that looks assured in this.

BALLYOPTIC brings a class element into play for the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable and can easily be forgiven his heavy defeat at the hands of Lostintranslation at Haydock. He’s a sound jumper these days and as a Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) winner has to be respected as that form has worked out.

Walk In The Mill has 5lb more to carry than last year and will be all the better for his comeback run in the Badger Beer Chase at Wincanton, but of more interest is WANDRIN STAR. He stated his case with a win at Wincanton, taking full advantage of the fall of White Moon, but the win showed he’s got his confidence back and it would be no surprise to see him take to these fences and go very well.

Prediction:

1st ONE FOR ARTHUR

2nd Vieux Lion Rouge

3rd Wandrin Star

4th Walk In The Mill

5th Ballyoptic

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Aintree Undercard Best Bets

Race 4 - No 6 MOUNT MEWS
Trainer: Donald McCain
Jockey: William Kennedy

At the age of 8 there’s still time for the injury plagued MOUNT MEWS to realise his potential. He saw the racecourse just three times last season but returned with a most encouraging display when finishing second to Sakhee’s City at Wetherby. If avoiding the ‘bounce’ factor and stepping up on that effort he will be hard to beat.


Race 7 - No 2 MIGHT BITE
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico de Boinville

It’s doubtful that MIGHT BITE will engage in the same ferocious duel that we remember from last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup in this four runner contest but it’s nevertheless a treat for the sport to witness this early rematch. The grinder Native River is hard to get past but at this stage of the campaign Might Bite can achieve it. He’s been beaten by his rival on each of the four times they’ve met but on this occasion the ball is in his court as he’s been going great guns at home.

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Sandown Park 
Betfair Tingle Creek Chase 
(Grade 1)

Regarded as the best trail for next year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase and won 12 months ago by Altior, this renewal of the ‘ Tingle Creek’ invites a new budding champion to step up to the plate with DEFI DU SEUIL a worthy 6-4 favourite with Hollywoodbets. At this time last year Philip Hobbs’s charge was a long way from being the polished article with his switch to fences not going smoothly. However, practice makes perfect has been the gelding’s rallying cry and after his Cheltenham Festival triumph over Lostintranslation he’s returned to look a natural successor to Altior should that horse remain in competition at longer distances. His main weapon is a telling turn of foot that Barry Geraghty has used more than one to get him out of trouble. Indeed, he produced it in the Schloer Chase at Cheltenham in which he beat one of today’s rivals POLITOLOGUE fair and square by a length and a quarter.

Politologue’s chance of turning the tables rests to a large extent on him being revitalised by a return to a right-handed track. Winner of this race in 2017, he found only Altior his master in the Champion Chase and now enjoys a 3lb pull in the weights. Furthermore, the better horses Paul Nicholls has run this season have in the main benefitted from their first run back.

Testing ground did for SCEAU ROYAL in this race last year but the Alan King-trained runner gets right into the argument courtesy of his fine effort against Altior in the Celebration Chase here in April when he was only seen off in the final few strides. He had to skip the Schloer Chase because of testing conditions but having won on each of his last three seasonal reappearances it’s unlikely that he will lack for anything in the fitness department.

UN DE SCEAUX gives Ireland a good shot at this but it’s hard to envisage the veteran being any better than he was when no match for Altior in this last year. He’s a credit to Willie Mullins whose kept him a the top of his division for several years but might have to settle for m8nor honours.

If there’s a joker in the pack JANIKA is surely the one. I was greatly impressed with the way he got the job done in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter where he looked better the longer the race went on. He just needs to prove that he’s as effective at the minimum trip. If he is, he will give Nicky Henderson a useful arrow to fire in the top two mile chases should Altior keep going further.

Prediction:

1st JANIKA

2nd Sceau Royal

3rd Defi Du Seuil

4th Politologue

5th Un De Sceaux

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Sandown Park Undercard Best Bests

Race 1 - No 11 TIMBERMAN
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Brian Hughes

Such has been Henderson’s dominance in this race that whatever he runs has to be taken very seriously. It’s therefore with plenty of conviction that I think TIMBERMAN will prevail. The former point-to-pointer couldn’t stave off stablemate Son Of Camas on his jumps debut at Newbury but that form has a very solid look to it and rates stronger than Fiddlerontheroof’s race at Wincanton.


Race 4 - No 4 NUBE NEGRA
Trainer: Dan Skelton
Jockey: Harry Skelton

If the Skeltons have a potential Arkle Trophy prospect in the yard then NUBE NEGRA is undoubtably the one. He’s looked a natural for fences in his two successes from as many outings and toyed with his rivals at Fakenham last time. His jumping was a joy to behold and should lend itself perfectly to this course with its famous Railway fences. He can complete the hat-trick on the way to better things.

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Wetherby

Race 1 - No 2 YOUNG BULL
Trainer: Harry Whittington
Jockey: Page Fuller

YOUNG BULL decisively landed some sizeable bets at Ffos Las and is in a good spot to consolidate in this novices’ hurdle. In a race where another penalised runner Oscar Robertson is the obvious threat, the selection can further underline the high regard held for him by his in form trainer. He looked better the further he travelled on that occasion and should but suited by track, ground and trip.

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Chepstow

Race 1 - No 4 NATIVE ROBIN
Trainer: Jeremy Scott
Jockey: Nick Schofield

Having travelled much the best NATIVE ROBIN again found one to beat him in an admittedly competitive contest at Wincanton last time. Although that was his third near miss on the bounce he’s a thoroughly genuine performer with five chase wins in his CV and this is a good opportunity for him to get back on track.


Race 3 - No 8 MUFFINS FOR TEA
Trainer: Colin Tizzard
Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill jnr

MUFFINS FOR TEA had very solid form until suffering an injury which has kept him sidelined for more than 600 days. The 9yo is fit for this return to hurdling and now is probably the time to catch him, with O’Neill an eye catching jockey booking.

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View Neil Morrice's full previews on the features at the Longines Hong Kong International at Sha Tin here!


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