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Cloudy Too tipped to eclipse stable-mate Auroras Encore at Wetherby races on Boxing Day
Want to see the Grand National winner on Boxing Day?
Then head to Wetherby where Auroras Encore makes his first racecourse appearance of the season after his unforgettable 66-1 triumph at Aintree in April in the featured William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase.
The chances of Auroras Encore making a successful return to action look slim, but his Bingley trainer Sue Smith may be celebrating in any case.
She also runs Cloudy Too, who, unlike his celebrated stable-mate, is race fit and who is napped to lift this £40,000 Grade 3 contest.
Although eventually unplaced in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on his latest outing, Cloudy Too ran well for a long way before weakening.
He had previously run out a gutsy winner at Carlisle in the hands of Jonathan England, who gets on well with him and whose 5lb claim will come in handy on his big-race mount.
Malcolm Jefferson’s Cape Tribulation, winner of this race 12 months ago, has yet to find his form this term, while Sydney Paget, impressive though he was at Haydock last month, has since been raised a hefty 13lb by the handicapper.
Cloudy Too will do for me, with Nuts N Bolts, another recent Haydock winner, among the main dangers.
As for Auroras Encore, he is assured of a warm welcome as he returns to the track, but he is up against it in such a tough race on his reappearance on ground probably softer than he prefers.
Smith has another good chance on the Wetherby card with Tahiti Pearl, who has been running very well in defeat, in the William Hill – No 1 Downloaded Betting App Handicap Chase.
Norton trainer Tony Coyle can figure on the scoreboard with Silver Dragon in the William Hill – In The App Store Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
A Uttoxeter winner two starts back, Silver Dragon was far from disgraced when third on this course on his latest outing.
Recent Doncaster winner Clondaw Flicka (12.35) and the hat-trick seeking Vinny Gambini (2.20) are two others to note.
Kempton’s top-notch fixture is traditionally highlighted by the William Hill King George VI Chase, which brings together the first four – Cue Card, Dynaste, Silviniaco Conti and Long Run – from last month’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Cue Card had the advantage of a preparatory run that day and may struggle to confirm the form over Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti, who were both making this seasonal debuts.
Marginal preference this time is for Dynaste, who won the Feltham Novices’ Chase on this card 12 months ago, and who represents the formidable David Pipe and Tom Scudamore combination.
The williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle hosts the much-awaited clash between My Tent Or Yours and The New One, two horses who promise to be prime contenders for the Champion Hurdle, come Cheltenham in March.
My vote here goes to My Tent Or Yours, who was very impressive when winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. He may just have the edge over The New One, who has won both his races this season, most recently at Cheltenham.
Classy Flat-racer Dubai Prince (12.50), an effortless winner at Leicester on his hurdles debut, and impressive Newbury winner Just A Par (2.00) are two others to note on a showpiece jumping card.
Wetherby – Boxing Day
12.35 Clondaw Flicka, 1.10 Silver Dragon, 1.45 Cloudy Too (NAP), 2.20 Vinny Gambini, 2.55 Tahiti Pearl, 3.30 Pertuis.
Kempton – Boxing Day
12.50 Dubai Prince, 1.25 Ericht, 2.00 Just A Par, 2.35 My Tent Or Yours, 3.10 Dynaste, 3.45 Beyeh.
Boxing Day’s other meetings: Ffos Las (inspection 8am today), Fontwell, Huntingdon, Market Rasen, Sedgefield, Towcester, Wincanton and Wolverhampton.
Friday’s meetings: Kempton, Leicester, Southwell, Wetherby and Wolverhampton.
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