An Irish based Xmas Yankee from NTF guest blogger Cathryn Fry……
This Yuletide, as well as Kempton and Chepstow, my eyes will be firmly fixed on the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, which runs from 26th – 29th December and features six Grade One Races. I have tried to stay away from the feature events for the purposes of this Yankee just to make it a bit different!
Leg 1: Peak Raider 2:55 26th December
Mixes hurdling and chasing and won a competitive handicap hurdle at the track in February along with a very decent handicap chase at Fairyhouse last December. His last couple of runs will have put him spot on for this.
Leg 2: Champagne Fever *
*Holds entries in three bumpers over the Christmas Festival (26th, 27th & 28th).
Whichever one he runs in he must be taken seriously. He won his only point by ten lengths in April at Quakerstown. Is a half brother to Presenting Forever from the family of Andy Pandy, Belmont King and The Bajan Bandit.
Leg 3: Rock Critic 12:55 27th December
Is engaged in a hot maiden hurdle in which the clearly useful Allure of Illusion also holds an entry. Rock Critic was a high class handicapper on the flat. He won twice in the space of 48 hours at this year’s Galway Festival. I have been awaiting his National Hunt debut.
Leg 4: Hidden Cyclone 12:55 29th December
Makes his chase debut here and is a horse to get really excited about. Has only been beaten once in all starts and that was into third by less than a length in Grade One Hurdle at the same meeting last year. The horses that finished in front of him were First Lieutenant and Zaidpour. A Dual Grade Two winner over the smaller obstacles along with a victory in the Grade Three For Auction Hurdle last November. His Trainer Shark Hanlon believes he could turn out to be a Gold Cup Horse.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Be lucky!
Many thanks to Cathryn for her festive Irish insights.
NTF Xmas Quiz
Many thanks to those of you that have already entered the quiz for your chance to win free bets from the very generous people at Betdaq.
Entries need to be with me by Midnight on the 25th (Xmas day!) so you still have plenty of time to unravel the clues.
Full details can be found in yesterdays Blog post.
If you want/need any clues for any of the questions feel free to drop me a tweet on twitter (
Best of luck