The Christmas Special continues to produce winners with Kel Du Large (7/2 from 13/2) landing a tidy gamble in the Listed four year old bumper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. Pinpointed for the one mile six concluding event in the Update, Jane Williams' runner backed up his victory at Exeter in October with another fine display staying on strongly to beat Dirty Den by nearly three lengths. A gelded son of No Risk At All, David Noonan's mount was always handy before taking over approaching the hometurn. Taken to the stands rail, his rider didn't have to get too serious to repel the challenge of Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner-up. A smashing prospect for the future, he is expected to remain in bumpers this term before going hurdling in the Autumn. It was a good start to the New Year for subscribers.
Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers started 2024 in the same manner they finished 2023 with Joyau Allen justifying favouritism in the bumper at Exeter on Monday on his Rules debut. A full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Envoi Allen, the five year old finished runner-up in his only point for Colin Bowe before being secured privately by Paul Nicholls on behalf of Johnny De La Hey. Partnered by Lorcan Williams, the Ditcheat representative raced prominently before taking control in the homestraight. Pushed out to win by three and a quarter lengths, he is another who will be kept in bumpers this season before going jumping in October/November.
The action on the track for the remainder of the week is somewhat low key with no jump racing on Wednesday as the weather continues to play havoc with the programme. I will therefore be back to update the Diary towards the end of the week.
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