Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
UN DE SCEAUX (Sandown Park 3.00) can take an up-to-snuff renewal of the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Trophy and enhance his position near the top of the market for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, a race in which he was runner-up last season. Six of the last 10 winners of this race justified favouritism (including one joint-favourite) and the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old looks like he will be a warm order, despite a very tame effort when well beaten by Ptit Zig in the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil in June. Un De Sceaux has had one attempt over these Sandown fences, when chasing home Horse of the Year Sprinter Sacre in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase in April. While Sire De Grugy seeks a third Tingle Creek, having won this last year and in 2013, the selection holds him on last January’s Clarence House Chase form, when Mullins’ charge won by five lengths.
APTERIX (Wetherby 2.50) bids to follow up his last month’s 2m3½f Sedgefield handicap chase win when he lines up in a five-runner event over a much shorter 1m7f. He was last of four on his chasing debut over this course and distance on his chasing debut but he jumped well in the main and that experience was not lost on him last time. Brian Ellison believes he will be equally effective over this trip but he will have to do it off a 7lb higher mark for that win. The positive is that this looks a relatively weak handicap.
TOUCH KICK (Chepstow 1.40) won a bumper on his debut for Paul Nicholls at Wincanton in April. The half-brother to a point-to-point winner and by Presenting, he would appear to want a stiffer test and better ground than he got that day, so hopes were high when he made his seasonal debut at Aintree last month. Things did not go according to plan, however, as he was very keen, did not settle and was beaten 15 lengths by Cruiseaweigh. He is a jumper, not a bumper horse, so a chance is taken that he will be more at home when he makes his hurdling debut in a 2m3½f novices’ hurdle today.
OLDGRANGEWOOD (Aintree 12.30) landed a 2m2f Kempton novices’ chase on his fencing debut and bids to follow up in the competitive 2m3f handicap chase off a mark of 130. Dan Skelton had been protecting the five-year-old, a former Irish point-to-point winner for a while before his chasing bow, as he felt he had plenty of growing to do mentally. He jumped well in the main at Kempton, but he looked as though he would prefer going left-handed. This is no easy task against seasoned handicappers, but he is certainly a stayer to keep an eye on going forward.
SANDOWN PARK: 12.20 Crystal Lad, 12.50 Midnight Sapphire, 1.20 Blue Rambler, 1.55 Altior, 2.25 Zubayr, 3.00 UN DE SCEAUX (NAP), 3.30 Doing Fine
AINTREE: 12.00 Litterale Ci, 12.30 Oldgrangewoood, 1.00 Good Tradition, 1.35 The Young Master, 2.10 Debece, 2.40 Minella Rocco, 3.15 Henryville
CHEPSTOW: 12.35 The Bay Oak, 1.05 Newtown Lad, 1.40 Touch Kick, 2.15 Kings Cross, 2.45 Dolores Delightful, 3.20 Fergal Mael Duin, 3.50 Eaton Hill
WETHERBY: 12.10 Quietly, 12.40 Cole Harden, 1.10 Lough Salt, 1.45 Two Smokin Barrels, 2.20 Vodka Wells, 2.50 Apterix (nb), 3.25 Shearling
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.15 Capolavoro, 5.45 Dodgy Bob, 6.15 Caledonia Laird, 6.45 Big Sigh, 7.15 Sutter County, 7.45 Watersmeet, 8.15 Heir Encore, 8.45 Star Of Lombardy
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