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Horse Racing

Musselburgh – Saturday 1st January 2022

Saturday 1st January 14:10

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith has found a great 7/1 each-way bet on Musselburgh's New Year's Day card.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Christopher Wood 7/17/1 Musselburgh 14.10
each-way (3 places)
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 30/12/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (20:28 30/12/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Paul Nicholls has been a keen advocate of sending some decent horses up to Musselburgh for the track’s annual Cheltenham Festival Trials day in February, to fulfil the double whammy of giving his spring festival types a nice prep run, and finding some decent ground.

As such, there are only four tracks in Great Britain where his runners have a higher winning strike rate – Carlisle, Catterick, Hexham and Southwell. His record at the Edinburgh venue is 24 from 61, which when you take into account last New Year’s Day’s meeting, jumps to 24 from 57.

Yes, you read that correct, he drew a blank a year ago, and will be bidding to put the record straight on January 1st 2022.

Again, Nicholls sends four raiders on the long journey north, and while he has shorter priced runners, the one that is without doubt the best bet on the card comes in the feature Betway Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle at 2.10.

Christopher Wood is responsible for 2 of Nicholls’ 24 winners at Musselburgh from just 2 starts, and can make that a perfect 3 from 3 on New Year’s Day. The early markets have seen Christopher Wood see some support, so I’m delving in early and recommending backing him at 7/1 each-way with Betfred, who offer 3 places on the 7-runner race.

Available at 8/1 with Bet365, but for only 2 places, I would rather have the extra place on our side for just one point shorter.

While his Musselburgh forays in February are for decent ground, Nicholls will be doing a rain dance for Christopher Wood, as on both occasions he has breathed in the fresh Lothian air, it has been with plenty of dig underhoof.

Consistent with progeny of Fast Company, Christopher Wood seems to come alive on soft ground, and with up to 10mm forecast on New Year’s Eve, the sound of every drop falling will be music to the ears of the maestro trainer.

While most connections of others in the race will be hoping the winds blow the clouds away quickly, as favourite Tommy’s Oscar, Anna Bunina, Fiveandtwenty and Blakeney Point would prefer it to remain ‘good to soft.’

John Quinn’s First Impression is the one I’d be wary of, and if you were of the nature to have a saver, then make sure it’s him, as he won very impressively at Wetherby on penultimate start, when racing on the worst of the ground on the inside.

But he may have to go some to match strides with a peak form Christopher Wood down the Musselburgh straight, a path that he will be marching in previously well-trodden hoofprints hopefully.

Like I say, at 7/1 each-way with Betfred for those 3 places, Christopher Wood is the bet of the Musselburgh New Year’s Day card, as he should be cherry ripe now after two spins this season.

The other meetings kick-starting 2022 didn’t instantly avail anything as tempting as Christopher Wood’s price, but I will delve a little deeper tomorrow and hopefully come up with something for Cheltenham’s traditional yearly cobweb-blowing day out.

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