Olly Murphy's: The verdict on all my Boxing Day runners at Kempton and Market Rasen
It's Kempton and Market Rasen for Olly and his team on Boxing Day with a few horses holding decent chances. Get the main man's views on his runners here...
"It's a hot race and we'll know where we stand with him after it but I wouldn't swap my fella for anything and I think he's a very smart horse."
Olly on Thomas Darby
Don't write off Thomas at Kempton...
12:50 - Thomas Darby
Won his maiden hurdle in Cheltenham before going on to be beaten a head by the re-opposing Didtheyleaveuoutto in Ascot. I had him entered in Ascot last Friday but withdrew him due to the soft ground so the better ground in Kempton will really suit him as will the track. We are 3lbs better off with Didtheyleaveuoutto for that head defeat and that puts us right in the mix. It's a hot race and we'll know where we stand with him after it but I wouldn't swap my fella for anything and I think he's a very smart horse.
My six Market Rasen runners starting with Jetstream Jack...
12:10 - Jetstream Jack
I was very disappointed with his run at Aintree where he was eventually pulled up by Jack Kennedy in a handicap hurdle won by Midnight Shadow. Nothing came to light after that run so I'm dropping him back in trip and putting a pair of blinkers on him - he wore them in the Irish Grand National - in the hope they sharpen him up a bit. It looks a moderate enough race and from what he shows me at home he's well up to winning in this grade so I'm hopefully of a decent run. Aiden Coleman rides.
Learning mission for Imperial Knight
12:40 - Imperial Knight and Eolian
Imperial Knight has some very good bumper form to him name, not least his second to the smart novice hurdler Stoney Mountain. This looks like quite a warm novice hurdle to me and it's my guy's first run over hurdles but he schools well at home. Having said that, it would surprise me if he managed to win first time out over hurdles. He's a nice horse for the future and I'm looking forward to running him with Aidan Coleman in the saddle.
Lewis Stones rides Eolian, who, it's fair to say he has been very disappointing and he will need to improve significantly to feature here so best watched until he goes into handicaps down the line.
Milan looks a smart each-way pick
13:45 - Miles To Milan
Won a nice handicap chase at Wetherby giving 19lbs to the runner-up, Bafana Blue. The form of the race is nothing to write home about and the second has been beaten since but my guy is tough and genuine. The trip and ground are also a plus. He is raising up in the weights but has a really decent each-way chance in tricky looking race.
Sancy an each-way option in Lincolnshire National
14:20 - Beau Sancy
Beau Sancy has been a big improver - winning three from four - since joining me and there could be a bit more to come. The extended 3m3f of the Lincolnshire National will be the furthest he's gone but I think he will cope well with the step up in trip and I have decided to remove the headgear in the hope it elicits some further improvement. He'll be ridden very patiently so expect to see him creeping into the race. It's a nice pot and I think this guy has a sound each-way chance.
Place chance for my final Boxing Day runner
14:55 - Let's Get At It
Let's Get At It is no world beater but this looks a very moderate race. He has not featured in his four runs for me and the handicapper's assessment of him - rating of 99 - looks about right. I'm applying a tongue-tie which should help his cause and Aidan Coleman in the plate is another positive. Like I said, he's no world beater, but he could run into a place.
Best Chance - Thomas Darby