WhichBookie racing analyst Andrew Blair White provides a preview and betting tips for races at Roscommon on Tuesday 28th June.
|Alfa Mix||8/18/1||Ante Post
Each Way - 4 Places
|Place BetPlace Bet|
|Ten Ten||16/116/1||Ante Post
Each Way - 4 Places
|Place BetPlace Bet|
Date of Tips: 22/12/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (16:21 22/12/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
For somebody that only lives a stone’s throw from Leopardstown Racecourse, the Christmas Festival has always been a festival ingrained into my life. In fact, my initial love for the sport came through a trip to this meeting a number of years ago with my Dad, and it has maintained that way ever since. There are 4 days of sparkling racing activity, with seven Grade 1s and a tonne of handicaps and maidens to get stuck into. It truly offers up something for all, and I am looking forward to trying to decipher some of the results over the coming days.
There is no better place to start from a punting perspective than the Paddy Power Handicap Chase on the 27th December. This 3m handicap chase, which is often a bloodbath for punters, looks like a nice type of race this time round and is full of potentially well handicapped horses. You will get plenty of people telling you over the next couple of days that there’s a rick in the race, but honestly, I’m not so sure such things exist. I have narrowed the race down to two horses, who both have some support for the race, but I still think the two of them could end up going even shorter on the day.
The most obvious one is Alfa Mix, who certainly has his followers for this race and it is easy to see why, given the fact that it has looked like a handicap of this nature would be within his realm at some time or another. Having been a progressive handicap hurdler a few seasons ago, Alfa Mix was a competitive seventh in a good renewal of the Coral Cup in 2020, when he jumped the last in the elad to only weaken out of the places. His chase career was given an inauspicious start last season, when running well down the field in three beginners chases over 2m/2m1f. He is clearly a stayer and his efforts this season would leave a lot of hope in your mind.
Alfa Mix started this season with a run in a 2m6f beginners chase at Galway, when running a lovely race behind the sadly ill-fated, Sixshooter. That looked like a decent race with The Bosses Oscar in third and horses like Ragnar Lodbrok in behind. He then went onto Punchestown for his second start over fences and in his first handicap over the big sticks. He was ultimately denied by the smallest of margins by Fully Charged, with the two coming clear in the final furlong. This looked like good form and he looks the type that will come further forward for that experience and will have learned from his first handicap chase start. He’s priced at 8/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral, who are offering 4 places each way ante-post, so he has not been missed in the market. However, given his connections, he could go off at a price of 4 or 5/1 on the day.
My second horse for this race is from the same ownership as Alfa Mix, and it’s Ten Ten for the Dempsey family. This horse has also shaped like a big handicap like this could always be within his range and his efforts at the backend of last season would be an indicator that his time should not be far away. Having been a good novice hurdler and chaser, he took the step up into handicap company in stride last year. He was perhaps a shade disappointing in this race last year, when sent off as short as 13/2 but he didn’t feature. He maybe lacked the experience on that occasion and his runs when coming second in the Leinster National and second at Punchestown were superb efforts.
He will have to turn up to this race fresh and it was interesting that he wasn’t declared for the Troytown in Navan a few weeks back despite being short in the ante-post markets for that race. He should be on course for this race though and his trainer, Phil Dempsey, certainly knows how to ready one for the big day should he have the ammunition. Ten Ten will favour the slightly nicer ground that the Leopardstown Chase track normally provides and despite there being a fair bit of forecast rain for the track, it rarely goes bottomless anymore. Ten Ten is as big as 16/1 with Coral for the race, which just screams as being too big – and I am going to back him alongside Alfa Mix for the Paddy Power Handicap Chase.