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Horse Racing

Saturday 18th December – Haydock/Ascot

Saturday 18th December 14:40

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith gives you his rundown of all the high-class action Saturday 18th December, and some lovely prices to be had!

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Calipso Collonges 7/17/1 each-way (5 places)
Haydock Park 14.40
Place BetPlace Bet
Just Your Type 22/122/1 each-way (6 places)
Haydock Park 14.40
Place BetPlace Bet
Annsam 17/217/2 each-way (4 places)
Ascot 15.00
Place BetPlace Bet
Goshen 9/19/1 each-way (5 places)
Ascot 15.35
Place BetPlace Bet
Garry Clermont 12/112/1 each-way (5 places)
Ascot 15.35
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 17/12/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (10:20 17/12/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Having dipped my bread earlier in the week, and recommended Calipso Collonges at 7/1 each-way for 4 places for the Virgin Bet Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase – on the one hand it is good to see Olly Murphy’s star stayer declared, but on the other the presence of ante-post favourite Remastered has meant that 7/1 is still available with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betfred and Boylesports for 5 places.

If you weren’t as hasty as myself then avail yourselves now is the advice, but also deep in the mirky waters of that midweek article was a mention for Just Your Type – and I’m glad I held off on the price for him.

It seems the ground has hardly dried at all at Haydock Park in the week, and as such this race will certainly be the gruelling test it always is – which will suit Charlie Longsdon’s dour galloper Just Your Type, and so at 22/1 with Sky Bet, who offer a lovely 6 places, he is worth backing in addition to the main bet on Calipso Collonges.

Elsewhere on Saturday, I was pretty keen on Ronald Pump in the Long Walk Hurdle at 2.25, but the juice has been squeezed out of him now at the general 11/2. So, it is the two closing handicaps on the card at Ascot on Saturday that present some lovely betting opportunities.

First up, is the Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase at 3.00, which is usually a really competitive race, but I can’t help feel this year’s renewal is not quite of that similar description.

Plenty of the 13-strong field have it to prove on one count or another, so instead of focussing on the negatives for them, (which I can happily go into further detail if you ask,) I’ll stick to the positives of the selection Annsam, at 17/2 each-way with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook for 4 places.

Last Saturday was a red-letter day for trainer Evan Williams, jockey Adam Wedge and owner Wayne Clifford as their Coole Cody grittily won the Racing Post Gold Cup at Cheltenham. I think they could be set for another enjoyable Saturday, as Annsam represents the same trio, and can do so to good effect.

The youngest horse in the field means Annsam is a little light on experience, but more than makes up for that with potential. It has been a bit of a mixed bag over fences to date, but his Ludlow romp last season when pulverising the decent Fidelio Vallis reads well.

Kept to hurdles in his two starts this season, he was very well backed at Newbury last time and stuck on in a fashion that suggested he needed 3m now when 3rd there. He also has a slight tendency to jump right, and so coming back this way around will help, and if Adam Wedge can get him into a rhythm early, he could prove to be the one horse in this race that meets it on an upward curve.

At 17/2 each-way with Paddy Power for 4 places, Annsam is a good bet to provide connections with yet more Christmas cheer.

The closing Betfair Exchange Trophy at 3.35 will be won by whichever jockey has the best headtorch on, as there will be very little daylight left at that time! Let’s hope sponsors Betfair have plenty of glowing yellow paraphernalia around to lighten the gloom!

Jamie Moore and Jonjo O’Neill are the two jockeys that I am going to send a 1000W headtorch too, as they ride my two picks here.

Yes, it’s Goshen. Many people will start to sweat profusely or twitch uncontrollably when reading this, but I’m more of the inclination to evaluate any horse in terms of it’s ability and competition in any given race, and not any past transgressions.

Goshen, on his first ever run in a handicap at 3.35 on Saturday at Ascot, is quite simply a much better horse than any of those he takes on in this race. So, at 9/1 each-way with Betfred or William Hill, he is a sensational price, as long as the ground doesn’t dry too much from the current ‘good to soft, good in places.’

Any horse that finishes 4 lengths behind Epatante and 1½ lengths behind Abacadabras in last spring’s Punchestown Champion Hurdle, running off a handicap mark of 153 against vastly inferior opposition, is a bet not to be missed at 9/1 in my eyes.

Many people were quick to crab his reappearance run a month ago, but not only was he both held up and kept to the inside, (both angles that are rarely advantageous on the Ascot hurdles track,) the 2-3 there have since pulled miles clear in the International Hurdle last weekend, and the winner Buzz could easily win the Long Walk an hour prior.

The other one to back at the prices is the chosen one of the two Jonjo O’Neill entries, Garry Clermont, who is a huge price also, at 12/1 each-way for 5 places with William Hill and Betfred.

Slightly errant in the closing stages at Ascot a month ago, when allowing the smart Captain Morgs another crack, Jonjo O’Neill will be alive to that tendency this time, and don’t be surprised to see him swing wide into the straight and make a beeline for the stands rail.

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