Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Monday, December 26, 2016.
CUE CARD (Kempton Park 3.15) can win the King George VI Chase for the second successive year. While the race has cut up badly, with just five going to post for the 3m Grade 1 event, a case can be made for each of the quintet, such is the quality of the line-up. Having already landed the Betfair Chase, Cue Card is in line for a £1m bonus should he win this and the Gold Cup. Yet Colin Tizzard has thrown a spanner in the works, with stablemate and top novice Thistlecrack taking him on. Many suspect the small field will help the latter, yet Cue Card is a front-runner and Paddy Brennan will set the fractions, which may put pressure on Thistlecrack’s jumping. In truth, there is little between the two on paper and with Josses Hill, Silviniaco Conti and Tea For Two completing the line-up, whatever the outcome, we are assured of a top-class renewal.
RAINBOW DREAMER (Fontwell Park 12.35) can follow-up his juvenile hurdle win here over the same 2m1½f trip for Alan King. That was his third try over hurdles, but his previous run had come in Listed class and while he was a little keen in first-time cheekpieces, he ran out a ready winner form a Paul Nicholls-trained import who has won two from four starts in France. The selection is penalised for winning, as, too, is another Nicholls import, Saintemilion, who makes his British debut. That duo look the pick of a modest bunch.
MOUNTAIN KING (Wetherby 3.00) is the class act in the 2m3f handicap chase on a really decent card at Wetherby. The seven-year-old, who shoulders top weight and faces seven rivals, was shipped over from Ireland by Gordon Elliott in September to land a similar handicap at Perth off a mark of 133 and he runs off a 4lb higher mark here. Much depends on the ground conditions – Mountain King is better on decent ground, but he also prefers a left-handed track and goes that way round this time.
YUKON DELTA (Huntingdon 3.05) was placed in his first start over fences, having previously earned a double over hurdles for trainer Gary Moore at his local haunts Plumpton and Fontwell. He did not look a natural jumper at Plumpton last time, but that is a tricky course to navigate and he should be seen to better effect over Huntingdon’s easier right-handed track as he takes on seven rivals in a less-than-competitive 2m7½f handicap.
KEMPTON PARK: 12.55 Jenkins, 1.20 Max Ward, 2.05 Minella Daddy, 2.40 My Tent Or Yours, 3.15 CUE CARD (NAP), 3.45 Lisheen Prince
WETHERBY: 12.10 Star Rider, 12.40 Dark Darsie, 1.15 Cloud Monkey, 1.50 Blaklion, 2.25 Only Orsenfoolsies, 3.00 Mountain King, 3.35 Groovejet
FONTWELL PARK: 12.05 Straits Of Messina, 12.35 Rainbow Dreamer (nb), 1.10 The Mighty Don, 1.45 Bertenbar, 2.15 Disputed, 2.50 Happy Diva, 3.25 Bonds Conquest
HUNTINGDON: 12.15 River Of Intrigue, 12.45 Forza Milan, 1.20 Knight’s Reward, 1.55 Gulshanigans, 2.30 Pyrshan, 3.05 Yukon Delta, 3.40 Linenhall
MARKET RASEN: 12.00 Winning Ticket, 12.35 Strait Of Magellan, 1.10 Moscow Me, 1.45 Bells Of Ailsworth, 2.20 Wilton Milan, 2.55 Ping, 3.30 Our Thomas
SEDGEFIELD: 12.00 Hi Bob, 12.30 Cousin Oscar, 1.05 Mahlerdramatic, 1.40 Kilronan Castle, 2.10 Four Mile Beach, 2.45 Hag Stone, 3.20 Blottos
WINCANTON: 12.30 On Demand, 1.05 Jaunty Inflight, 1.40 Quarryman, 2.15 Mr Mix, 2.50 Desert Queen, 3.25 Dawson City, 3.55 Victarion
WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.00 Orotorio’s Joy, 1.35 Letmestopyouthere, 2.05 Speed Freak, 2.35 Pensax Lady, 3.10 Frivolous Prince, 3.45 High Baroque, 4.15 Gentlemen, 4.45 Ravenhoe
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