The horse racing for the year is almost done; we check out the best December 29 horse racing betting tips. Following a hectic build-up to Christmas and jam-packed Boxing Day that presented sports fans with some of the best National Hunt horse racing you’ll see all year, there’s still no rest. We jump head first into another action-packed weekend of meetings where more entertainment and drama is guaranteed.
There’s plenty for followers of the British and Irish scene to catch up on; hopefully, you go into the round with profits in your pocket from Wednesday. Meetings take place across the country, with the highlights including the Christmas Hurdle and Savills Chase on Friday. We then get into the thick of the Ryanair Hurdle meeting on Saturday at Leopardstown.
We’re delighted to focus our attentions on the Irish track where they proudly present their Christmas festival which runs between 26-29 December. On Boxing Day, we have The Racing Post Novice Chase, Thursday brings The Future Champions Novice Hurdle, Friday gives us The Christmas Hurdle and Savills Steeplechase, before Saturday hands backers the chance to find the winner of the Ryanair Hurdle.
It promises to be a spectacular occasion and bookmakers help make the event special by offering exciting betting markets and value on the festival’s biggest and best races. There’s plenty of big priced runners around and that’ll catch the eye of backers looking to win big off small stakes.
To help nudge you towards profit we have invited our team of highly experienced horse racing tipsters to preview a few of the weekend’s races, including the headliner on Saturday.
Fans favourite Apples Jade is expected to return for more; it’s no surprise to learn she dominated the ante-post betting markets for this race with punters getting in early finding no better than the 4/5 that was sent out by Bet365. A bit of a risk, some might say; however, there can be no doubting the jolly’s class and if she runs to the best of her abilities, she’ll leave the field for dust.
Gordon Elliott’s star won the race last year under the ride of Davy Russell and that was the jockey’s second success in three, after taking charge of 2015 champion Prince of Scars. Vroum Vroum Mag and Ruby Walsh picked up the spare.
Apples Jade arrives at the track with confidence on side having won each of her last two; she claimed the Lismullen Hurdle over 2m 4f at Navan on 11 November before scoring a quickfire double with success at Fairyhouse in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle on 2 December; she beat runner-up Supasundae by a stunning 20 lengths.
Apples Jade was odds-on fav that day and more than lived up to the billing. We expect a repeat performance here, but her price means she’s best suited to accumulators. Supasundae is 5/1 second favourite.
This looks a deeply competitive race with some of the biggest names in the business out to contend the winner’s cheque. Road to Respect was the early pick by traders who threw the weight of their support behind when pricing him as 7/2 favourite; this quote you’ll find readily available at Coral. That’s worth paying attention to as some firms are as tight as 3/1 on the same pick and if you can get 7/2 on a 3/1 shot, our advice would always be to give it careful consideration.
It’s not for us, however, as we are taking second in line, Presenting Percy to spring a surprise at 7/2 at Bet365. One of our favourite runners, he has done followers many favours in the past; therefore, if he runs in this race, we fancy him to land us another profit. The seven-year-old gelding has won four of his last six starts, including a victory in the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival last season. The time away from the track may be seen as a slight concern; however, we have the utmost confidence in his handlers and know they have options, so if they aim at this race it’ll be because they rate their chances of winning it.
Others in the field worth a mention, especially if Presenting Percy doesn’t go, are Bellshill who looks a cracking price at the 6/1 with Bet365; also, there’s Sizing John who has been overlooked a little too easily by odds-makers at 8/1; then there’s the double-figure odds of Anibale Fly who is more than good enough to contest the major places if in the mood.
Samcro is your ante-post favourite for the much-anticipated renewal of this famous race; if traders are on the money, he’ll be taking the title won by Mick Jazz for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell 12 months ago. The market leader aims to give Elliott back-to-back wins and there’s currently no more than Unibet’s 2/1 that says he’ll do just that – most other firms stuck around the 7/4 mark, making that a serious bit of value.
Samcro was second in each of his last two; he was beaten by Bedrock in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal despite going off at 4/9 and finishing second behind Buveur D’Air at Newcastle on the opening day of the month in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, again the shortest price of the field. Samcro will come on for those two runs and plenty will be only too happy to forgive and forget but that form isn’t enough to make us back the fav.
A Juicy Bet on Melon
Instead, we’ll take a punt on Melon who can be backed at 4/1 with Bet365. Willie Mullins’ six-year-old hasn’t been seen since falling in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle back in April; however, the time away from the track and rest that comes with it was needed. He’ll be back a sharper, better horse and if we get the kind of improvement we’re expecting from him, he’s one well worth keeping close.
Melon’s certainly in good hands with Mullin. His inclusion will be a sign that the yard thinks he has a chance. A bit of a gamble but we’re happy to take a risk and oppose the favourite with a talented contender who has all the ingredients of a champion.