This New Year’s Day heralds a new dawn for racing with the ITV cameras set to roll for the first time (in a long while!) at both Cheltenham and Musselburgh.
All eyes will be on Ed Chamberlin and co. and we’re wishing the new crew well on the broadcaster’s maiden outing.
The Dipper Novices’ Chase and the Relkeel Hurdle are the two highlights and we’ve picked out a best bet for both of those races, as well as a Lively Longshot at Prestbury Park.
Welsh National day proved profitable for us with Aso doing the business and Beg to Differ putting in a storming run to grab some tidy place money.
But now it’s time to move forward and go back in…
A small but competitive field will assemble for the latest renewal of the Dipper Novices’ Chase and it’s hard to look past the jolly.
Clan Des Obeaux was an easy and visually impressive winner when romping home by 10 lengths at Newbury last time out and he can repeat the trick in Gloucestershire.
Paul Nicholls’ charge had subsequent Kauto Star Novices’ Chase runner-up Virgilio in behind on his previous outing, adding further weight to his glowing claims.
Nicky Henderson’s pair of recent course and distance winner Whisper and O O Seven can’t be entirely ruled out, and neither can Briery Belle.
But the money is talking and we’re siding with the market leader.
This edition of the Relkeel Hurdle is a tricky puzzle to solve given that the leading contenders have all come up short lately.
However, it’s Lil Rockerfeller who gets the nod from us following his two gutsy displays at Ascot.
Losing to the likes of Unowhatimeanharry and Yanworth is no disgrace and he stands out for us against returning hurdlers Cole Harden and L’Ami Serge.
Elsewhere, the quicker surface will probably count against last year’s winner Camping Ground, handing our lil’ fella the chance to take his place inside the winner’s enclosure.
This looks a cracking Grade 3 contest and one in which we’re backing Venetia Williams’ Tenor Nivernais to turn the tables on old foe, Village Vic.
Phillip Hobbs’ charge won this last year but is now 14lb worse off and has a real fight on his hands to secure back-to-back victories.
Meanwhile, our selection belied odds of 33/1 to finish a very respectable third on his reappearance at Ascot and looks generously priced again.
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Price taken at 9/2, Returns 11/2, Paid at 6/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing