Three JP McManus horses to watch out for over the Christmas period

Joseph O'Brien and Ivanovich Gorbatov after winning the Triumph Hurdle

Irish horse racing owner JP McManus loves a punt over the Christmas period. He usually lands at least one big race during the festive period. We have taken a look at his big race chances and have found three runners that could be worth following.

Welsh Grand National

He is very hit or miss but on his day, REGAL ENCORE (33-1) is a fantastic horse. Runner-up in a Champion Bumper in his early days, he has run some big races in some of the big handicaps – 3rd in a Ladbrokes Trophy in 2017, a winner of the Swinley Chase in 2018 and recently won the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot. He also has an entry for the Ascot Silver Cup on the 19th of December. He has a good record at Ascot so it would be no surprise if he ran there instead. This boy is one to watch.

Savills Chase

Nicky Henderson is likely to run CHAMP (11-4) in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He was last seen flying from the clouds to claim the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. A very sketchy jumper, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old is this season on the Gold Cup trail but there is no doubting his ability. Champ initially held an entry in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, but a right-handed speed test is not a suitable test for him.

Matheson Hurdle

SAINT ROI narrowly lost out to Abacadabras in the Morgiana Hurdle but he was the one to take out of the race. He got boxed in at a crucial stage which allowed the eventual winner to get first run. Considering he was a good couple of lengths down approaching the last, Saint Roi very nearly got back upsides and was flying at the death. The County Hurdle winner is Willie Mullins’ main Champion Hurdle hopeful this season and this is a good step on the road to Cheltenham.

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