There are two high-class chases taking place tomorrow – one at Haydock and the other at Ascot. They will have a bearing on the betting markets for the Ladbrokes King George VI at Kempton on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Festival. However, neither race this weekend is now an attractive betting proposition because each has attracted just four runners.
I suggested a bet a week ago in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase (Haydock 3 p.m.) at a time when most bookmakers were still offering three places. So I am pleased to see that Corach Rambler, put up each way at 14-1, now only has three rivals tomorrow. However, I am fully aware that he is the lowest rated horse in the race and it is perfectly possible that he could still finish fourth (or indeed not finish at all).
Bravemansgame is the most likely winner, with 6 lbs in hand of the second favourite Protektorat on official figures, but he is now odds on and cannot be backed at current prices.
At Ascot, Shishkin looks likely to be an even shorter priced odds-on favourite in the Grade 2 Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase (1.30 p.m.). If he is at his best, he will be too good for his three rivals of which Pic D’Orhy is likely to prove his toughest opponent. However, once again there is no horse in the race worth backing at the current odds.
Also at Ascot, I was tempted to put up Saint Segal in the Jim Barry Hurst Park Handicap Chase (3.15 p.m.) as he is perfectly capable of reversing the form with Boothill, on better terms, following their run at the track early this month. 5-1 initially seemed attractive each way because Jane Williams’s stable star looked like a Grade 1 Arkle Trophy contender early last season and he can race off a rating of just 136 here in a contest worth more than £65,000 to the winner.