Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 24th 2013 Contents A63
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Silviniaco Conti is strongly-fancied to
reverse Haydock placings with Cue Card
when they renew rivalry on a much softer
surface in the grade one King George V1
Chase over three miles at Kempton on
Boxing Day, feature event on an extensive
Paul Nicholls charge finished third to
Cue Card, beaten seven lengths, but was
always off his natural stride as the winner
bowled along, jumping superbly, on fast
jumping ground; realistically Silviniaco Conti
was the one to take out of the Betfair Chase
given he stayed on genuinely; last year he
won that prestigious grade one race, on
soft, heavy ground. He needs that.
Running time will be considerably longer,
ideal for Silviniaco Conti but a negative for
Cue Card, judged on time-handicap marks
for these genuine, progressive seven-year-
olds; it s not a two-horse race!
Long Run beat Captain Chris in a thriller
last year; neither has run to anything like
their best TH ratings since but Nicky Hen-
derson is quietly confident about the 2011
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, beaten 20
lengths in the aforementioned Haydock
race, finishing fourth. That served as a con-
fidence-booster on the back of a shocker
in the Charlie Hall around Wetherby.
Significantly Long Run did not sport
blinkers when successful twelve months ago
but has worn them in all races since!
Henderson also runs Riverside Theatre
but he s simply not good enough, neither
is the new Pipe hope Dynaste; in fact offi-
cial BHA ratings concur with mine, that
there is only a pound between Silviniaco
Conti, Cue Card, and Long Run!
We re in for an absolute belter!
My focus will also be on a seven-race all-
weather programme on Wolverhampton
polytrack where Royal Birth Resolute and
Rugosa are declared.
Royal Birth is napped to make it third
time lucky in the Maiden Stakes over five
furlongs, unlikely to meet another speedball
like Oriental Relation, a James Given-trained
Tagula gelding which blitzed him over course
and distance twelve days ago.
That time was way above average, sensibly
Jamie Spencer didn t persevere aboard Royal
Birth when the inevitable was obvious some
Resolute is totally different gravy in the
nursery, a potential class act next year
Rugosa is on an advantageous mark in
the Ladbrokes Handicap over seven furlongs
in which my colours were carried success-
fully by Mike s Double in the 90 s!
9.10 Royal Birth (nap)
10.10 Silviniaco Conti (e.w)
11.45 Rugosa (e.w)
Go for Silviniaco Conti
No grounds for concern at Kempton
Conditions were easing at Kempton after
rain arrived on Monday ahead of the two-
day Winter Festival featuring the William
Hill King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
The going at the Sunbury venue was
described as good to soft, soft in places on
a day expected to be the worst before the
prestigious fixture gets under way on Thurs-
"We ve been forecast up to an inch of
rain today (Monday), but up to early after-
noon we d only had a couple of millimetres,"
said racing director and clerk of the course
"Everything is fine and we ll see when
this rain stops tonight.
"Today is the windiest day, I think, and
then it should settle down with sunny peri-
ods, possibly with the risk of a shower, over
the next three days and turning wet again
"We ll just have to see how much we get,
but the ground walked extremely well this
Officials at Wetherby anticipate no prob-
lems ahead of a two-day Christmas fix-
"The ground was good to soft on Monday
morning but we ve had rain since just after
10am so it has been easing," said clerk of
the course Jonjo Sanderson.
"The forecast was for rain to remain with
us for most of the day, but tomorrow and
up to Boxing Day is going to be OK with
maybe a bit more rain on Friday."
Fontwell, which is close to the West Sussex
coast, already has ground on the heavy side
and is taking quite a deluge.
"We were raceable this morning but we ve
had 11mm by this evening and the worst is
to come," said clerk of the course Ed Arkell.
"We ll just have to see what we get tonight
and then we ll work out what we ll do
Wincanton is another track due to race
on Boxing Day, and clerk of the course Barry
Johnson said: "The rain is just starting to
clear away now, but we have another band
of rain coming in tonight.
"Hopefully it is due to clear away again
in the morning, so we ll see what happens.
"We ll see how much rain we get tonight
and go from there."
The weather has been pretty rough in
Wales, where Ffos Las has been taking the
brunt of the storm and an inspection has
been called for 8am on Tuesday ahead of
the Boxing Day programme.
The going at the track is currently heavy
and with more rain forecast, general manager
Tim Long feels it prudent to check the sit-
uation on Christmas Eve.
He said: "We have had a fair drop of rain
this morning and I ve just checked the fore-
cast again and it is due to be with us for
most of the day.
"We will have a look at 8am tomorrow
on the back of what we have today and
what the forecast is like and take a view
The going was described as heavy at
Chepstow where the Coral Welsh National
is scheduled for Saturday.
Up to 35mm of rain was forecast on Mon-
day before better weather sets in until Friday
when rain returns, with just a light shower
predicted for raceday.
The going is soft across the Irish Sea
where four days of high-class racing will
be staged at Leopardstown.
Conditions were described as soft on both
the chase and hurdle tracks at the Dublin
venue following eight millimetres of rain
on Sunday night.
Bookmakers believe My Tent Or Yours and The
New One could even be sent off joint-favourites
by Boxing Day with the leading lights of the new
generation proving hard to separate in Kempton s
williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle.
The New One, who is 7lb ahead on ratings, already
fronts the ante-post betting for the StanJames Cham-
pion Hurdle at Cheltenham, having built upon such
a promising novice campaign by trouncing former
Champion winner Rock On Ruby at Kempton and
then quickening six lengths clear of Zarkandar in
the International at Cheltenham on December 14.
Trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus
are bidding to land the Grade One for the fourth
time in a row with My Tent Or Yours, following
exploits of the recently-retired Binocular and last
season s effort from the ill-fated Darlan.
Betfair Hurdle winner My Tent Or Yours made a
smooth reappearance in the Fighting Fifth at New-
castle, while the pair did meet in the Aintree bumper
of 2012, with The New One winning by a length
and a quarter but in receipt of a 6lb weight allowance.
The race sponsors make The New One 10-11 against
his rival at 5-4 and William Hill spokesman Jon
Ivan-Duke said: "The race looks set to be a ding-
dong festive battle between two of this season s
leading hurdlers and it would be no surprise to see
them go off as joint-favourites."
StanJames Rory Jiwani said: "We re happy to lay
The New One in the Christmas Hurdle with our 11-
10 the biggest price about. My Tent Or Yours is also
11-10 and it s 14-1 bar those with six going to post.
"We can t separate them in the betting at Kempton
and we can t separate them in our to win the Christ-
mas Hurdle and Champion Hurdle market with
both horses 6-1 to do the double."
Sam Twiston-Davies, rider of The New One for
his father Nigel, is aware he will be in a tactical battle
with Tony McCoy and My Tent Or Yours.
The in-form jockey held on to his mount until
before the final flight in the International before he
raced clear on the run-in.
"Obviously we were very happy with him at Chel-
tenham," he told BBC Radio Wales.
"He has a very high cruising speed and the one
thing about him is he has a really sharp turn of foot
at the end, when you go for him it s instant.
"How we ride him will be different to Cheltenham
as My Tent Or Yours is very similar to us in the way
he can travel, with a high cruising speed and a turn
of foot as well."
Grumeti, who was third in the 2012 Triumph and
later won at Aintree, missed the whole of last season,
is also in the line-up.
Alan King s gelding made a satisfactory comeback
by finishing third to My Tent Or Yours at Newcastle,
while sixth-placed Duke Of Navan is sent south from
Cumbria by trainer Nicky Richards.
King knows Grumeti must make plenty of improve-
ment but he is still, like the big two, considered a
Champion Hurdle prospect.
"Grumeti is a horse who has had very little racing
in the last year, so needs the practice," the trainer
"I was happy with him at Newcastle, where he
just got a bit tired after the last and was run out of
it for second, but he should be a lot sharper for the
race and I d like to think he will keep on progress-
"He has been in very good form at home and,
though we could well think about stepping him up
in trip one day, I still have the Champion Hurdle
very much in mind."
The field is completed by the Paul Nicholls-trained
Sametegal, who was a very respectable second to
Dell Arca when conceding a lot of weight in the
Greatwood Hurdle, and the rank outsider Chapel
23-14--- 10.30 am
4-26--- 1 pm
30-22--- 6.30 pm
Times played this year
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30 pm Total
01 CENTIPEDE 7
02 OLD LADY
04DEADMAN 4 10 8 22
05 PARSONMAN 9 5 8 23
15 SICKWOMAN 6 11 7 24
18 WATERBOAT 9 11 6 26
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30pm Total
27 LITTLE SNAKE 6 14 10 30
28 RED FISH
29 OPIUM MAN
30 HOUSE CAT
31 PARSONWIFE 9 9 6 24
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
LAST DRAW: MONDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS
Play Whe results to December 23
1 8 (Water Bpat) 10.30 am
8 (Tiger) 6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
5 (Parson Man)
31 (Parson Wife) 1 pm
4 (Dead Man) --- 10.30 am
16 (Jamette) --- 1 pm
27 (Little Snake) --- 6.30 pm
hard to part in
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