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Lancashire Telegraph racing column
7:00am Saturday 28th December 2013 in Sport
Well Refreshed appears to have everything in his favour ahead of a quality renewal of the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.
Fresh from his first Grade One winner as a trainer with Sire De Grugy in the Tingle Creek, trainer Gary Moore can land another of the season’s highlights.
A relatively lightly-raced nine-year-old, this mudlark was always likely to get his favoured conditions.
At his best over a marathon trip when the ground is hock-deep, the gelding will surely never have a better chance of winning this race.
His rapid improvement began last November at Fontwell when he won off a lowly mark of 100 and he ended up running in the bet365 Gold Cup in April off 142.
The ground had gone against him by then but between those two efforts he proved himself as a staying chaser with a degree of class, winning Plumpton’s Sussex National and then demolishing the field, and the final fence, in the Grand National Trial at Haydock.
Well beaten on his first run this season at Cheltenham, he surprised many that he was able to finish third on good ground at Sandown, staying on strongly in the closing stages, suggesting that with more emphasis on stamina in Wales he is up to winning off his revised mark, just 2lb higher at 141.
Tipping a maiden in a Grade One is fraught with danger, but there are reasons to believe Alan King’s Chocala can strike at the highest level in the coral.co.uk Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle.
A decent performer on the level, King was always thinking of this race before he had even jumped a hurdle in public.
He made his debut in what was without doubt the best juvenile event run this season to date at Newbury, sticking on well for third behind Paul Nicholls’ impressive French recruit Calipto.
While he may find the Triumph Hurdle in the spring too much of a speed test, taking on fellow three-year-olds over two miles in testing ground at this time of year is in his favour.
Some of King’s horses are not quite right but he would not risk one of his brightest hopes if he was not giving him the right signs.
Newbury’s highlight, the Betfred Goals Galore Challow Novices’ Hurdle, can go to Captain Cutter.
The JP McManus-owned six-year-old has done well in two minor events over hurdles and looks ready to step up to the top table.
Denali Highway can defy a big weight in the Betfred Mandarin Handicap Chase.
On the verge of turning seven, Caroline Bailey’s charge ended last season with a hat-trick of wins at a relatively lowly level.
His first win came off 105 yet he proved his new perch of 128 was not beyond him when going down narrowly to No Planning at Wetherby and that one has run two good races since.
He looked that day as if this extra distance was what he needed.
Rainbow Peak was a Grade One winner on the level for Michael Jarvis and should be able to make a victorious debut for John Ferguson in division one of the Watch On 3 Devices racinguk.com/anywhere Maiden Hurdle at Catterick.
Galician is the pick in the Ladbrokes Handicap at Lingfield.
He has to reverse running with Dubai Hills but that one is far better Southwell, where he is a real specialist.
Mark Johnston’s filly has five lengths to make up from their Southwell run but she arguably performed better last weekend when narrowly beaten in a Listed race at Lingfield.
She is obviously in good heart and looks a safer bet.
The Lexus Chase at Leopardstown looks a real Christmas cracker and Lord Windermere is the value play.
Bobs Worth did not look anything like a Gold Cup winner at Haydock, Sir Des Champs could be affected by his nasty fall in the John Durkan and Unioniste has plenty to find on the book.
Jim Culloty’s Lord Windermere has the ground coming in his favour and will strip fitter for his reappearance in the Hennessy where he was hampered by a faller.
CATTERICK: 12.25 Rainbow Peak, 12.55 Spin Cast, 1.25 Chicago Alley, 1.55 Ghaabesh, 2.25 Big Water, 3.00 Allanard, 3.35 Auberge.
CHEPSTOW: 12.30 Deputy Dan, 1.00 Bertie Boru, 1.30 Moorlands Mist, 2.00 CHOCALA (NAP), 2.35 Well Refreshed, 3.10 Mail De Bievre, 3.45 Bar A Mine.
LEOPARDSTOWN: 12.20 Akorakor, 12.50 Empire Of Dirt, 1.20 Inis Meain, 1.50 Solwhit, 2.20 Talbot Road, 2.55 Lord Windermere, 3.30 Silver Concorde.
LIMERICK: 12.35 Windsor Queen, 1.05 Flaming Dawn, 1.35 Faugheen, 2.05 Pals Leg, 2.40 Abbey Lane, 3.15 Glenquest, 3.50 Boondooma.
LINGFIELD: 11.40 Spirit Of Winning, 12.10 Wee Jean, 12.40 Secular Society, 1.10 Galician, 1.40 Gabrial’s King, 2.10 Absolutely So, 2.45 Agerzam, 3.20 Welsh Sunrise.
NEWBURY: 12.15 Sleepy Haven, 12.45 Saroque, 1.15 Denali Highway, 1.45 Captain Cutter, 2.15 Vukovar, 2.50 Kazlian, 3.25 Wilde Blue Yonder.
DOUBLE: Chocala and Well Refreshed.
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