Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Boxing Day

Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Boxing Day

UK Best Bets - Saturday 21 November 2020

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday's racing coming your way from Kempton Park, Wetherby, Wincanton and Wolverhampton




Kempton Park Best Bets

Race 3 LADBROKES KAUTO STAR NOVICES’ CHASE (Grade 1)
THE BIG BREAKAWAY (7) (Nap)
Trainer: Colin Tizzard - Jockey: Robbie Power

From the stable that landed this in 2019 with Slate House, THE BIG BREAKAWAY can reassert his status, dented with a shock defeat by Bold Plan at Exeter. The five-year-old cost a king’s ransom after smoothly landing his only point in Ireland and proved himself top class in the novice division over hurdles, finding only Envoi Allen his superior in the Ballymore. He jumped beautifully when switching to fences at Chepstow, and needs to be given the chance to reassert after what was probably an off day at the Haldon track last time.

Race 6: WHATSUPWITHYOU (2) (Each Way)
Trainer: Ben Pauling - Jockey: Luca Morgan

WHATSUPWITHYOU doesn’t stand too much racing but is therefore a horse with few miles on the clock that is still open to improvement on just a sixth outing since joining his trainer a year ago. He signalled with a fine second to Stimulating Song at Cheltenham that a deserved success is imminent.

Race 4 LADBROKES CHRISTMAS HURDLE ( Grade 1)
EPATANTE (6)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Aidan Coleman

With a turn of foot to die for, EPATANTE is impossible to oppose in her latest step towards a second Champion Hurdle. The JP McManus-owned mare goes to post with all guns blazing in a bid for back-to-back successes in this race, having petulantly kicked her rivals aside on seasonal comeback in the ‘ Fighting Fifth’ Hurdle at Newcastle. 

She looks every bit as good as when claiming the hurdling crown in March and can make it a seventh triumph from her eight starts since joining Henderson from France. SILVER STREAK has the best form of the quartet that oppose the odds-on favourite, but the grey couldn’t hold a candle to his female rival at Newcastle and should again be forced into playing second fiddle. 

If there’s a value bet then that is reserved for BALLYANDY, who since reverting to hurdles after an abortive chase career has cut the mustard in both top handicaps and Graded races. The problem is, he was readily dispatched by Epatante in the corresponding race 12 months ago.

Prediction:
1st: EPATANTE
2nd Ballyandy
3rd Silver Streak

Race 5 LADBROKES KING GEORGE VI CHASE (Grade 1)
SANTINI (9)
Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

With CLAN DES OBEAUX and CYRNAME heading a team of four from the Paul Nicholls stable you have to be imaginative to see around that powerful challenge for the Christmas highlight, but following the late introduction of SANTINI such a course of action becomes easier to contemplate. 

Clan Des Obeaux ruled the roost in the 2019 running when putting 21 lengths between himself at Cyrname, with LOSTINTRANLATION providing an underwhelming run that day. Clan Des Obeaux flopped in the Gold Cup, but served notice with his second to Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock that he sets the standard now returned to his favourite track. Cyrname meanwhile got a monkey off his back by scoring for the first time over three miles and showing that he can win going left-handed by landing the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Lostintranslation got his mojo back when third in the Gold Cup but seemed to loath the testing ground in the Betfair at Haydock. And although Kempton drains well, there’s been an abundance of rain in London over the past couple of days. Nicholls’ FRODON and REAL STEEL look out of their depth, while WAITING PATIENTLY hasn’t run for more than a year. SAINT CALVADOS is an honest operator but attempts three miles for the first time. This brings me back to Santini, who when equipped with first-time cheekpieces ran Al Boum Photo to a neck in the Gold Cup. A tall unit, he wasn’t helped by the omission of fences when second to Lake View Lad in a Grade 2 at Aintree, and is best judged on his great effort in chasing’s blue riband. His only previous visit here met with defeat, but if conditions become testing it will play to his strengths.

Prediction:
1st SANTINI
2nd Clan Des Obeaux
3rd Lostintranslation
4th Spain Calvados
5th Cyrname
6th Waiting Patiently

Wetherby Best Bets

Race 1: HOLLYMOUNT HOLLY (5)
Trainer: Kim Bailey - Jockey: David Bass
After winning a bumper, HOLLYMOUNT HOLLY was highly tried in just two subsequent starts last season. She’s been given plenty of time to develop, and after pleasing in her schooling may have too many guns for Tequila Blaze in this mares’ novices’ hurdle.

Race 4: JOHNBB (2) (Nap)
Trainer: Tom Lacey - Jockey: Stan Sheppard
JOHNBB looked a well-handicapped horse when dispatching his rivals over course and distance on seasonal return last month and looks a horse worth following through the rest of the winter. He’s won three times and been placed in all but one of his other five outings for his astute trainer, and with his tail up should prove very hard to beat.

Race 5: CANELO (4)
Trainer: Alan King - Jockey: Thomas Bellamy
The featured Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is a tightly-knit affair but CANELO appeals as a horse with more to come following two solid efforts in cheekpieces. The seven-year-old scored with something up his sleeve at Aintree and lost no caste in defeat at the hooves of Cap Du Nord at Newbury. The ground, track and trip are boxes safely ticked with him.

Wincanton Best Bets

Race 1: SHORE SHANTY (1)
Trainer: Harry Whittington - Jockey: Cillin Leonard
SHORE SHANTY was ultimately made to work hard to open her account when backed as if defeat was out of the question at Ludlow. Her stable was quiet soon after that, and in the belief that she’s better than she showed, is worth staying with as she takes on the dangerous Rose Of Arcadia under a penalty.

Race 5: SOUTHFIELD HARVEST (3) (Nap)
Trainer: Paul Nicholls - Jockey: Lorcan Williams
SOUTHFIELD HARVEST is a lovely individual who wasn’t given a hard time when outpointed by Shang Teng on His Ascot reappearance. The Kayf Tara gelding needs to be afforded abundant respect now going down the handicap route, and whatever happens today is a horse to follow.

Wolverhampton Best Bet

Race 5: BOOSALA (2) (Nap)
Trainer: William Haggas - Jockey: Richard Kingscote
Even though he hasn’t raced since the summer of 2019, it could pay to back BOOSALA to stretch his unbeaten record to three. He looked a tantalising prospect when scoring at Windsor and York and has trained well on an all-weather surface in Newmarket. He doesn’t have the streetwise appeal of a couple of his foes, but is nevertheless a dangerous joker in this pack.

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