The contrarian word on the Christmas action....

Last Updated: 27.12.2018

Thursday, 27th December 2018

The contrarian word on the Christmas action….

A 3m5f slog over 22 fences in soft ground a Chepstow is no easy race to win….

And this afternoon’s Welsh Grand National (2.50) is not an easy race to predict either – with 20 horses going to post and plenty you can make a case for….

The one that appeals to me as an each-way bet at the prices is Peter Bowen’s RONS DREAM at the general 18s….

This race has been her intended target for the best part of a year and her two runs this term will have put her cherry ripe for the assignment…

The soft ground is perfect for her, she’s a decent jumper and I reckon she’s going to improve markedly for this step up in trip….

She runs off 139 tomorrow and gets a nice weight as a result. I reckon she’s going to prove to be a good few pounds better than her mark over a trip that plays to stamina – and she could look very nicely handicapped in hindsight….

  • Over in Ireland….

The other race I’m targeting this afternoon is the Paddy Power Chase over at Leopardstown (3.00) and the one I want to to be with each-way there is the Willie-Mullins-trained POLIDAM at the general 20s….

Yard number one Ruby Walsh rides Livelovelaugh but my view is that in Polidam Paul Townend could well be on the yard’s number one hope – and at a superior price….

Thanks to injury and missed racing, Ruby Walsh can’t win the Champion Jockey title over in Ireland this year. But Townend can – and the Mullins yard (including Walsh) is committed to helping him do just that….

He’s going to be riding horses that ordinarily Walsh would be expected to be on the back of. Especially in valuable races which are going to have the biggest impact on the success or failure of Townend’s tilt for the title….

This afternoon’s race is a case in point and I reckon Townend will be on a live one for the yard….

Polidam was sent off favourite for this race last term and ended up getting well beaten. Maybe the race came too soon after his seasonal reappearance at Navan….

Mullins is obviously a good judge and the fact that the horse returns for a second bite at the cherry – and the second go at this 3mile trip – suggests this race is one that Mullins believes suits….

The difference this time round is the absence of a prep-race. Polidam must do it at the first time of asking off a 221-day break….

I’m not worried about that. Maybe first-time-up – like at Navan last term – is the time to catch this horse. I think the 9yo is a nice each-way price….

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Welsh Grand National (2.50 @ Chepstow).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – RONS DREAM each-way (18s generally)

In the Paddy Power Chase (3.00 @ Leopardstown).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – POLIDAM each-way (20s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.

  • The last word….

That’s all from me for now.

I’ll be back in the New year….

Win, lose or draw – enjoy the racing tomorrow afternoon....

Until next time. Stay tuned.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd