Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 12 December 2020

Neil Morrice: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 12 December 2020

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday's racing coming your way from Cheltenham, Doncaster, Hereford and Newcastle. 


Trainer: Nicky Henderson - Jockey: Nico de Boinville

CHANTRY HOUSE moves up on the distance ladder with his unbeaten record over fences on the line, but the six-year-old should be more than up to the task in hand. One of last season’s top novice hurdlers, his trainer has Shishkin as a main arrow for the Arkle Chase, and that’s why he’s asking Chantry House to stretch out. The gelding got the job done well enough on debut over fences at Ascot, and should find this course more to his liking.


Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies - Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Connections of AL DANCER may well have chosen right to target this big handicap with the grey in favour of the Peterborough Chase that was staged here yesterday. There are certainly more pitfalls awaiting him in such a big field, but horses that run well in the PaddyPower Gold Cup, as he did, are traditionally to be feared when returning to the same course and distance for this prize. Coming down the hill in the PaddyPower nothing travelled as well as Al Dancer, and though flattening out a little turning for home he rallied up the final hill to finish third to Coole Cody. MASTER TOMMYTUCKER brings a further element of class into the race following back-to-back successes at Huntingdon and Haydock, but against him is a tendency to make silly mistakes, while he was no match for Al Dancer when the pair clashed on their seasonal reappearances at Newton Abbot. COOLE CODY appeared to ‘steal’ the Paddy Power and will have wiser foes trying to ensure he doesn’t get away with such tactics again. WINDSOR AVENUE is a serious challenger from the North and comes right into the reckoning on his good run behind Imperial Aura at Carlisle, though taking on a far bigger field in a handicap poses a totally different question of him. Of the longer priced runners MIDNIGHT SHADOW and CEPAGE are two I like. Midnight Shadow is a dual scorer at the New Year fixture here, while Cepage can be hard to reel in if getting onto the lead, though that seems unlikely.

Prediction: 1st AL DANCER, 2nd Windsor Avenue, 3rd Master Tommytucker, 4th Midnight Shadow, 5th Cepage


Trainer: Tom Symonds - Jockey: Aidan Coleman

If there’s a new horse with the potential to reach into the Champion Hurdle treasure trove this season then SONG FOR SOMEONE could be the one. The free-running gelding endorsed all the promise of previous races over hurdles by trouncing Call Me Lord in a Grade 2 at Ascot and there was absolutely no fluke about the way he jumped that foe into submission. CALL ME LORD is back to try to repeat his 2019 triumph in this race, backed up by stablemate VERDANA BLUE for whom the prevailing easy conditions raise a question mark. Plenty of the betting handle on the race will head in the direction of GOSHEN, who would have rounded-off an unblemished first season over hurdles put for pitching and losing his pilot at the final flight of the Triumph Hurdle here in March. He will try to boss things but there are better value options, particularly BALLYANDY, who is closely matched with SCEAU ROYAL on their running in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, and rates a must include for all exotics.

Prediction: 1st SONG FOR SOMEONE, 2nd Ballyandy, 3rd Call Me Lord, 4th Verdana Blue, 5th Sceau Royal, 6th Goshen

Trainer: Paul Webber - Jockey: Richie McLernon

INDEFATIGABLE took out the closing race at the Festival in March in dramatic fashion, swooping up the final hill to get up on the line in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle. The talented mare has more recently run respectably in a Listed race for distaffers on the all-weather at Lingfield and chased home Bannixtown Glory in a muddling Listed mares’ hurdle at Kempton. She didn’t appear happy on that tight track and can come into her own returned to the open spaces of Prestbury Park.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Race 5 No1 HOUSE ISLAND (Nap)

Trainer: Paul Webber - Jockey: Gavin Sheehan

HOUSE ISLAND gave his fences plenty of respect when opening his account at Ludlow and now needs to step up to show he’s the horse connections think can tread a path towards the Cheltenham Festival. He faces stern rivalry from Ofalltheginjoints in this Grade 2 but looks the type to do better against stronger competition.


Trainer: Caroline Bailey - Jockey: Paddy Brennan

This is a cracker to end the card and BOLDMERE can send punters home happy by gaining a first win of the season. The seven-year-old travelled well for a long way in both starts so far at Chepstow and Bangor before weakening. However, he’s a gross individual that might have needed those outings to put the cutting edge on him, and can return to the smart winning form displayed at this course a year ago.



Trainer: Sam Thomas - Jockey: Jordan Nailor

Another chance is taken on JABULANI to show benefit for the move to a new stable. The grey will need to jump better than when third at Southwell , but if doing so can prove hard to beat as he will receive expert handling from the saddle

Race 4 No3 ELIXIR DE NUTZ (Nap)

Trainer: Colin Tizzard - Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Returning from almost a year, ELIXIR DE NUTZ is sufficiently tuned to outclass his foes in this novices’ chase. Good enough to win the Grade 1 Tolworth as a novice over hurdles, he kept smart company on both starts in handicaps last season but suffered with a breathing affliction that has now been corrected. It was always expected that the best would be seen on him over fences.

Jockeys Ride Horses



Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Cieren Fallon

Mobaadel enjoys the benefit of already having had a run, but Frankel colt RESTITUTION arrives with a good home reputation on debut for top connections and is worth chancing to know enough to come out on top.

Race 6 No7 MARSHAL DAN (Nap)

Trainer: Heather Main - Jockey: Cieren Fallon

MARSHAL DAN has been a fine servant to his owners with three wins and three frame finishes from his six outings in 2020. He’s managed only one success on the all-weather and is paying a first visit to Gosforth Park, but with his tail up he needs to be taken seriously.

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