As stated in the Diary on Wednesday, the Christmas Special will be emailed to clients on Sunday pm. I want to see as many of the entries over the Festive period as possible, plus Irish expert Declan Phelan is writing an article but it won't be ready until Sunday pm.
Top 40 entry Israel Champ (8/1) proved his win at Cheltenham last month wasn't a fluke by beating six previous winners and conceding four pounds all round to win another Listed bumper at Ascot on Friday. Prominent throughout, the Milan gelding stayed on dourly in the testing conditions to beat the previously unbeaten Soaring Glory by a length and three quarters. David Pipe's four year old will presumably be put away until the Festival bumper at Cheltenham in March. He has been a tremendous inclusion for the Top 40 and could be one of the most exciting prospects the Pond House team have had for a number of years.
Colin Tizzard's Master Debonair followed up his C&D win by taking the Grade 2 Kennel Gate NH by eight lengths. The Yeats gelding made all the running and produced a better round of jumping to fend off the northern challenger Ribble Valley. His trainer indicated afterwards that the five year old will have one more run before taking his chance in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The runner-up ran well but didn't help himself by over racing during the first half of the contest and, not surprisingly, tired late on. His jumping was good, bar the second last and he remains a promising sort.
The performance of the day at Uttoxeter came in the finale, the bumper, as Adrimel (6/4) made a spectacular start to his career under Rules. Featured in Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers section in OJA, the four year old cost a hefty £280,000 at the Aintree April Sale having won his only start 'between the flags,' and he couldn't have won any easier on his first run for Tom Lacey at the Midlands track. Ridden by Richard Johnson, he made all and drew clear to win by 26 lengths. Indeed, it was a very similar performance to King Roland who won the same event twelve months ago by a mere 22 lengths. Ironically, he won an English point for Lacey before being sold privately. A real mudlover, Adrimel looks a smashing long-term prospect.
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