WE'VE been spoiled with some top-class racing over the last couple of weeks.
And the Festive offering is no exception. Our man Jack Keene has picked out his best bets on ITV for New Year's Day action and looks to keep his good run of form going.
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I'll be siding with PROSCHEMA (1.55 Musselburgh) in an interesting renewal of the Hogmaneigh Hurdle at Musselburgh.
Dan Skelton could win with the stable cat right now, and conditions look ripe for a big run from his talented six-year-old.
He was a smart recruit from the Flat last year and he took well to hurdling, with he only blot on his copybook a failure to finish in the Greatwood at Cheltenham last time.
However, the ground was atrocious that day and he lost a shoe mid-race, so it was wise of jockey Harry Skelton to look after him when his chance had gone.
This isn't as competitive as the Greatwood, and the return to a sounder surface is a big plus.
There looks like being a solid pace which will suit this strong traveller, and if he isn't better than a mark of 131 (on both jumps and his previous Flat form) I'll be shocked.
There are a couple of old favourites running in the Betway 'Auld Reekie' Handicap Chase in Garde La Victoire and Bigmarte.
But it's Paul Nicholls' RED RISK (3.05 Musselburgh) who will be carrying my dough.
The French recruit stormed clear for a ready success on his second start in this country over this trip at Ludlow, a course with a very similar configuration to Musselburgh.
He needed his first run back at Market Rasen and was then caught out in a red-hot race on very testing ground at Ascot last time.
This is a more realistic assignment and conditions look ideal around a track which should play to his strengths.
Talented amateur Angus Cheleda takes off a valuable 7lb, so he should run a big race for a yard in flying form.
New Year’s Day selections (odds correct at time of writing)
New Year's Day
1.55 Musselburgh – Proschema 1pt WIN @ 4-1
3.05 Musselburgh – Red Risk 1pt WIN @ 13-2
- (Column started August 6) rolling P&L: +28.8pts
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