Saturday 1st January 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome to what will be my first preview of 2022 as my Path To Cheltenham series continues with the New Years Day Meeting taking centre stage this Saturday at Prestbury Park. I hope you all enjoyed the Boxing Day Preview and made a few quid on the tips throughout the Christmas Period…
…I’ll be sharing with you just the horses that I’ll be punting on Saturday instead of just going through every race, so, as ever, enjoy.
The first race I’ll be taking a look at is the 12:15 which is the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, a Listed contest that’s ridden over two miles and four and a half furlongs. The one I like here is I Am Maximus for Nico De Boinville and Nicky Henderson, who’s currently trading at around the 5/4 mark. He got the better of the very smart My Drogo in a bumper here back in 2020, and after being turned over on hurdles debut last month he made no mistake on his second outing when beating Raymond Tusk by second lengths at Newbury, a horse who is also no mug. I think he’s got a lot of potential and could prove to be very tough to beat here.
The next race I’ll be looking at is the 2:00 which is the Grade 3 Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase over two miles and four and a half furlongs. I’ve had two arrows in this particular affair, the first of which comes in the form of Funambule Sivola at 7/1 for Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch. He was last seen when running a solid race in second behind First Flow in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, which is good form. I think he could well prove to be a cut above this level, and despite having a big weight to lump around here if his jumping holds up he could prove to be a big player. The other pick is an old friend of mine and that’s Zanza for Phillip Hobbs and Tom O’Brien. Also trading at 7/1 he often flatters to deceive and can be frustrating to back, as he’s prone to a mistake (or two). He ran one of his best races in a long time though last month when staying onto finish second in the Racing Post Gold Cup here, he’s only been nudged up a couple of pounds for that effort and if he keeps the mistakes to a minimum he’s got every chance of being competitive again.
The third and final race I’ll be taking a look at on the day is the 3.10 which is the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle, which is once again contested over a distance of two miles and four and a half furlongs. It’s all about Brewin’upastorm here for me who represents the Olly Murphy yard and will be ridded by Aidan Coleman. He can currently be found in the betting at the 11/8 mark on the back of his seasonal reappearance at Aintree, where he bolted up by nine lengths. Despite that win coming in lesser company than this, it was still a taking display and he’s ran well at Cheltenham before, if coming on again from his first run of the season he’s got to be considered as the one they all have to beat.