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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Friday 27th December 2013 in Sport
Sit back and enjoy Sprinter Sacre’s return to action in the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton today.
Nicky Henderson’s superstar makes a belated return in this Grade Two event after bypassing an intended run in the Tingle Creek as he was slightly off colour, and the all-conquering seven-year-old is guaranteed to pack the crowds in.
Back firing on all cylinders, he is not a betting proposition, despite the presence of a moderately serious rival in Sire De Grugy, but sometimes the sport goes beyond that and he should simply be a joy to behold in extending his unbeaten record over fences to 11.
Valdez looks ready for the switch to Grade Two company in the williamhill.com Novices’ Chase.
He made a successful start to his fencing career with victory at Exeter back in November before following up at Newbury later that month.
While his main rival crashed out that day, Valdez shrugged off a couple of minor jumping errors to run out a comfortable 24-length winner over Un Bon P’tit Gars.
The handicapper has raised him to a mark of 152 after that success and this kind of level appears to be a natural progression for Alan King’s charge.
Dan Skelton has made a rapid start to his training career and Stephen Hero could be another potential star for him.
A promising second on his hurdling debut at Wetherby, the winner, John Quinn’s Rutherglen, has gone in again since.
The Irish import is worth backing in the William Hill - iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini Juvenile Hurdle.
Mickie claimed a competitive event at Newbury last time out and can repeat the trick in the William Hill - Download The App Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
A game stayer, she should relish every yard of this three-mile trip.
The William Hill Castleford Handicap Chase at Wetherby is not quite the race it once was but rising star King Of The Wolds can take full advantage of the opportunity.
The six-year-old will be tackling battle-hardened rivals on what is only his third chase start but his jumping has shone in his first two fencing starts for Malcolm Jefferson.
His task was eased considerably when Dursey Sound fell as he was challenging at Fakenham, leaving King Of The Wolds miles clear of his rivals.
Admittedly it is a big step up taking on experienced campaigners, but King Of The Wolds looks a really smart prospect.
At Leicester, Veloce can provide some Christmas cheer for connections in the Bet totetrifecta On All Races Handicap Hurdle.
Richard Hannon has just a handful of days left as a licensed trainer before his retirement but another winner is on the cards at Wolverhampton.
Here For Good lines up in the 32Red Maiden Stakes after making a pleasing debut when fourth at Lingfield earlier this month.
A half-brother to Group race winner Prince Bishop, he is bred to to excel over middle distances next year but normal progression from his first outing should mean he is good enough.
Oriental Relation was an easy maiden winner last time and can follow up in the 32Red Nursery Handicap at Southwell.
KEMPTON: 1.00 Stephen Hero, 1.30 VALDEZ (NAP), 2.00 Mickie, 2.30 Sprinter Sacre, 3.05 On Trend, 3.40 Fergall.
LEICESTER: 12.35 Jack The Gent, 1.10 Stow, 1.40 Tafika, 2.10 Mosspark, 2.45 Cloudy Spirit, 3.15 Veloce.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 12.20 Plinth, 12.50 Rich Coast, 1.20 Rubi Light, 1.50 Moyle Park, 2.20 Arnaud, 2.55 Panther Claw, 3.30 Bosman Rule.
LIMERICK: 12.30 Big Bad Wolf, 1.05 Real Steel, 1.35 Not For Changing, 2.05 Cango, 2.35 Harpsy Cord, 3.10 Cork Citizen, 3.45 Bell Walks Day.
SOUTHWELL: 12.25 Oriental Relation, 12.55 Touch The Clouds, 1.25 Quality Art, 1.55 Twilight Angel, 2.25 Goal, 3.00 Izzy Boy, 3.35 Dubai Celebration.
WETHERBY: 12.45 Flementime, 1.15 Swiftly Done, 1.45 Many Clouds, 2.15 Royal Skies, 2.50 King Of The Wolds, 3.25 Definite Lady.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 3.55 Give Us A Belle, 4.25 My Sweet Lord, 4.55 Boy The Bell, 5.25 Three Pips, 5.55 Here For Good, 6.25 Sound Advice, 6.25 This Is Me, 6.55 Tony Hollis.
DOUBLE: Valdez and Sprinter Sacre.
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