Cal’s Weekend Betting Tips – 23/12/2023

Estimated read time 12 min read

Last Weekends Horse Racing Review

We had an action-packed weekend of racing over at Cheltenham seeing some very smart performances along the way and where better to start than DYSART ENOS. You just knew when she came alongside the leader turning for absolutely swinging on the steel, she was going to dot up. This mare is special… she looks to have the potential to give Fergal O’Brien his first Cheltenham Festival winner as she leads the market with 4/1 generally available across the books.

FUGITIF was given an absolute peach of a ride by GAVIN SHEEHAN and for me could well be a contender for ride of the year… turning onto the hill, he had FUGITIF a long way off the pace right at the back of the field and he has shot from last to first within seconds and as I predicted in my blog last week, he would just have the edge on IL RIDIOTO which from a betting aspect, I was enthralled about… it was a fantastic performance and for me, his chances in something like the RYAN AIR or even the Plate again this year, he would definitely have a strong chance at serving it well up to the field. Performance of the weekend for me…

Finally, BROADWAY BOY battled off a game THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE in a red hot handicap chase on the Saturday. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my blog, this lad really has a cracking chance of running a cracker of a race in the RSA. I think that will be the route connections and Nigel Twiston Davies head down come the festival in March, he is a relentless galloper and jumps like a stag, even still at 14/1 he looks a nice each way bet especially with his course form in his armoury.

Horse Racing Over Christmas

I cannot believe the racing we have in store over the Christmas Period, from the KING GEORGE to the KAUTO STAR then seeing CONSTITUTION HILL in the Christmas Hurdle… that’s just in England. Head over to LEOPARDSTOWN and LIMERICK we have the likes of FACILE VEGA, GAELIC WARRIOR, GALOPIN DES CHAMPS and STATEMAN. We have being truly spoilt… the quality is something to be drooled over.

I am starting off BIG in previewing the KING GEORGE CHASE. It’s looking like the field we will have come the off is ;


Who wins this? In my opinion I think ALLAHO will likely dominate the betting and probably go off EVENS… Do I think he wins? I am not entirely sure that 3M is his best trip… the 3M GOLD CUP in Ireland was effortless for him and whilst it was very impressive, the form of that race stinks… Minella Indo, Galvin, Fakir D’oudaires have all taken a downward trajectory in their careers since that run. This field is a slightly tougher task for ALLAHO and I am not too sure at his age now he will be able to serve it up to this lot over 3M… 2M 4F there’s no doubt he wins doing handstands but I think the distance could catch him out.

I don’t buy into Paul Nicholl’s comments that BRAVEMANSGAME is back to his best… I just think he lacks grit and honestly looks a broken horse after his 2nd to GALOPIN DES CHAMPS in the GOLD CUP. He hasn’t won a race since the Gold Cup and after his run last time out in the BETFAIR CHASE, I cannot back him with free money, I think his best days are behind him. Don’t get me wrong he is only an 8 yr old and it is far too early to write him off but the 2 runs he has had this season does not fill you with any confidence what so ever going into the KING GEORGE. Now sure you can listen to Nicholls and his comments of how he has schooled after the Betfair Chase and looking at Nicholls record in the race, it is understandable why you could forgive him again, especially after winning the race last year. But he isn’t for me this time around…

SHISHKIN… does he even start the race? Nicky Henderson has being desperate to give him a run before coming here but sadly that hasn’t prevailed… he comes into this off 257 day break after being an impressive winner on his debut over 3M but that form is quite bad to take from that race. If he was race fresh and fit then I would be on him here, I think he should have being stepped up to 3M a fair bit of time ago and with question marks around most of the field here, it may be worth having an each way bet on SHISHKIN here at 11/2… what’s the worst that can happen… on his day he is the best horse within the field in my personal opinion. I just hope Nicky has him revved up here and we see a big run from his stable star!

THE REAL WHACKER could well be the fly in the ointment here. I think Patrick Neville was under the impression that this lad was just a specialist around Cheltenham but I think he is a worthy candidate in this years renewal of the King George. To me he looks to have a massive engine and the step up to 3M could spark further improvement… his run in the Paddy Power Gold Cup was too bad to be true and I finally think Neville has realised he needs to divert away from Cheltenham and step him up in trip. He is completely unexposed over the trip and cannot be overlooked. 10/1 is a fantastic price.

ROYALLE PAGAILLE only does his winning on soft around HAYDOCK. Cannot have him whatsoever& poor FRODON needs to be settled down for retirement. Past his best days and won’t see the race out…

For me my selection would be SHISKIN 11/2 each way. I just have a slight feeling that we have yet to see the best from Shishkin and he could be an absolute weapon over this trip… it’s a massive risk but so is every horse in the field as they all have question marks over them apart from ALLAHO but at 11/2 each way, I’d rather take the risk on SHISHKIN than any other in the field.


CONSTITUTION HILL headlines this year’s renewal and on paper, I must admit it looks a rather underwhelming field once you remove the fav. SCEAU ROYAL could run a big race at 50’s but it’s likely that his best days are behind him but if he runs anywhere near his best, I’d have him to finish 2nd to CONSTITUTION HILL here. The champion hurdle winner just wins this and I will attempt to have a dabble in the lengths market if the price is right… I may also have a squeak at the forecast for the Hendo pair I mentioned above.


KLASSICAL DREAM 3/1? … He jumped like a pro on his chase debut and put up a fantastic performance which in my opinion is as good if not better, than HERMES ALLEN last time out… he certainly would be ahead of HERMES ALLEN & GRANGECLARE WEST for me. I think GIOVINCO would be better around a sharper track where he can maintain a good rhythm behind a nice pace he has a solid chance here however, to run STAY AWAY FAY to a finish like he did last time out is mightily impressive and I can’t see most in the field replicating that run BUT… I think this French raider is very special. IL EST FRANCAIS 5/2 is my selection for this race. You watch the way he clears the fences and it leaves you jaw dropped, he just looks an absolute monster. The cruising speed he possesses without even being shook up is scary… the run last time out was sheer quality and I think that performance should have him top of the market here.  You may get a drift on the day as usually seen with French horses when they come over but this lad looks something special through my eyes. 


IRISH POINT 9/4 is my selection for this race. I have being waiting for this lad to run again for what seems like forever and it looks like my wish will come true as he looks set to step up to 3M. I truly think the best is yet to come with this lad and he is going to relish this trip. He is a proper stayer to me. The more you watch him over the 2M 4F at Aintree with the likes of HERMES ALLEN & LETSBECLEARABOUTIT in behind that day, the more impressive the run gets and the more apparent it becomes that he is crying out for the step up in trip. HOME BY THE LEE is a really good horse but I think with age on his side, more speed and more potential, the 9/4 on offer for this lad is a gift and I think he will go off a lot shorter than his current market price. 9/4 yes please!


FACILE VEGA 8/13. He just wins doesn’t he…?


FIREFOX 5/1 and DADDY LONG LEGS 4/1… DADDY LONG LEGS dotted up on the last day and it was visually it was a cracking performance and you would imagine he will come on more for that run. FIREFOX has better form that can be respected but I think Daddy Long Legs would do the same to BALLYBURN over 2M. I think he has more speed than FIREFOX who for me would be a Ballymore horse… Mullins usually wins this race with his Supreme horse too… For me I cannot escape backing DOWN MEMORY LANE 7/4 here. This looks a serious animal, DEREK O’CONNOR was absolutely motionless on him last time out and the speed he reached there without even being nudged off the bit is scary… it’s possibly the most impressive novice hurdle performance I have seen this season so far. He has travelled like a tank there… if you haven’t watched the race you need to. I think 7/4 is a great price here for what could be Gordon’s best novice hurdler…


MIGHTY BANDIT 11/10 looks a gift here. Watch his last race back and you will be astonished by this performance and the scary thing is that you would imagine that he will come on plenty for that run too… He has won pulling away on the last day, despite being short priced here, come the off I can guarantee you are not getting 11/10 on the day. He wins this in good style, GSI!


GALOPIN DES CHAMPS has received plenty of support in recent days, backed in from 7/2 into 7/4. It is a heart over head moment for me here but I do think he goes onto win this. Watching the race back last time out in the JOHN DURKAN he looked to be closing on the leaders over the last until Townend pulled him inside… weird decision and I think had he have kept on the outside he would have gone a lot closer… he needs the trip after his campaign last year, gone are the days where he can dot up over a 2M4F JOHN DURKAN and win the GOLD CUP… I think now with the runs under his belt he gets the better of FASTORSLOW here over the longer trip. If GERRI COLOMBE was to turn up here then I really don’t know what would happen! I just want to see GALOPIN DES CHAMPS get back to winning ways… I think he just has the edge here…


STATE MAN 1/4. Wins. Need I say less…


GAELIC WARRIOR 1/2. I can’t see anything getting near him, plenty short but one for the ACCAS. I think he wins this with his head in his chest, that run last time out was pure brilliance. Corbetts Cross doesn’t come here so the 1/2  is probably worth getting now…

That is all the big races covered, the handicaps I will delve into once final declarations are announced and my fancies will be posted on my twitter page. 

So… after my preview above. My selections are;

  • FACILE VEGA 8/13
  • STATE MAN 1/4
  • TRIXIE 11.17/1 
  • DOUBLE 7.93/1

There is so much more action than what is stated above but as mentioned, I will now wait for the final declarations before any more selections, after my clean sweep on my blog last week landing 3/3 tips I feel in good form and will certainly be having a good bet over the festive period.

Merry Christmas ladies and gents, best of luck to you and your families.


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