Road To Cheltenham 2nd January 2017

An extremely busy Christmas period is over and it has given us some big clues into what might or might not happen at Cheltenham racecourse in March. Follow @myracingtips for all the latest racing news, chat and keep up to date with the banter daily. Our daily horse racing tips are live from 8.45am every morning.

This Week’s Racing

Saturday sees the return of the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown racecourse, usually a very competitive Grade 1 contest over the two miles. There is also a Listed mares’ hurdle race on the card and a big Class 2 handicap chase. On Sunday, the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle takes place at Naas.

Performance Of The Week – Our Duke

The Jessica Harrington trained Our Duke showed huge battling qualities to win the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase. The well backed 6 year old made some awful jumping errors, losing ground and most of his obstacles so the win was extra impressive. The RSA Chase looks the horses’ most likely target off the back of that effort but his jumping will have to improve.

Leopardstown 29th December

  • Willie Mullins’ usually has everything his own way over in Ireland but he didn’t in the Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle when Nichols Canyon was a disappointing flop. The Henry De Bromhead trained Petit Mouchoir got a soft lead and put the race to bed turning for home. He is now 10/1 for the Champion Hurdle in March.

Punchestown 31st December

  • The filly we have been waiting for all season, Redhotfillypeppers, finally made her debut for Willie Mullins in the Punchestown racecourse bumper. Bred for three miles plus and potentially a future Gold Cup horse, owner/jockey David Dunsdon set out to make all on her and she got the job done in grand style, pushed out to win by a couple of lengths. She is 9/1 to land the Mares’ Novice Hurdle and 14/1 for the Mares’ Hurdle.

Cheltenham & Fairyhouse 1st January

  • Nicky Henderson is a remarkable trainer and he has got Whisper back to his very best to win his second race on the trot at Cheltenham. Under Davy Russell, a better jump two out saw him just edge out the very progressive Clan Des Obeaux by half a length in the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase. He is now a 14/1 chance to land the JLT Novices’ Chase, 20/1 for the RSA and 33/1 for the World Hurdle.
  • Willie Mullins has another very smart bumper horse in the shape of Next Destination who got off the mark in the hands of Patrick Mullins. The 8/15 favourite was made to work hard but it was still a taking display and he is now 20/1 to land the Champion Bumper in March.

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