Free horse racing selections for Sunday December 9

David Clough backs Min and Great field to score in Ireland while he also provides his Peterborough Chase thoughts - check out Sunday's preview.

Best bet: Charbel (2.25 Huntingdon)

4
711-0OR: 159
13/8
Last RunWatch last race

Next best: Zerachiel (1.05 Kelso)

10
810-9OR: 123
8/1
Last RunWatch last race

Charbel has everything in his favour to become the inaugural winner of the Tattersalls Ireland Edredon Bleu Chase at Huntingdon.

The Grade Two contest, the annual showpiece at the A1 track, is registered and previously long known as the Peterborough.

But in memory of the race's multiple winner Edredon Bleu, most famous for his victories too in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Kempton's King George, it goes by a different title for the first time.

It is always a coveted prize, and only more so this year, with several top yards represented in a highly-competitive 10-strong field.

Charbel nonetheless stands out as the one with the pick of current form, and still improving.

Kim Bailey's seven-year-old was in with a chance of outrunning his odds for the second successive year at the Cheltenham Festival, and possibly giving the mighty Altior another scare, before falling at the sixth in last season's Champion Chase.

After a slightly disappointing return when beaten by the reopposing Hammersly Lake at Perth in September, Charbel has upped his game significantly.

He gave 12lb and a narrow beating to subsequent BetVictor Gold Cup winner Baron Alco at Chepstow, then put Hammersly Lake and others in their place when a fine second to Politologue in a Grade Two at Ascot last month.

Even God's Own, who has to give 6lb all round here, cannot match that form - and with the two-and-a-half-mile trip and forecast good to soft ground ideal, Charbel should prevail as long as he is over his most recent exertions.

By the time he is crossing the line, William H Bonney may well have banked his second consecutive win in the Goffs Handicap Hurdle.

Alan King has campaigned the seven-year-old in many of the best handicaps over the past two seasons.

But with William H Bonney beginning to look as if he may be getting fed up of chasing around faster horses, the Barbury Castle trainer dropped him in grade to see if he could inflict similar treatment on lesser lights at Hereford last month.

Wayne Hutchinson duly smuggled him into the race for a half-length win under top weight.

Three weeks later, with confidence restored at an identical minimum trip over a similar course, there is every reason to anticipate a repeat - despite a 4lb ratings rise and tougher opposition.

There is top-class racing in two other countries on Sunday.

Starting in Scotland, Zerachiel is worth noting in Kelso's Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National Handicap Chase.

In-form Ian Williams has been meticulous in choosing his venue for the eight-year-old's seasonal debut - and on the evidence of Zerachiel's previous campaign, this extreme trip and good-to-soft ground should be right up his street.

Conditions are also sure to be the liking of Donna's Diamond in the Mrs Ivan Straker Paris Pike Novices' Chase.

The high-class staying hurdler did little wrong on his return to chasing at Hexham, bumping into a winner who is very useful on his day, and he should have this field covered.

Ireland stages the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, and if it turns tactical Min ought to have enough stamina to make his class tell.

Gigginstown pair Balko Des Flos and Shattered Love were brilliant at Cheltenham in March, but less so since - and both may be types to peak once a year.

If that is the case, Min - who stayed this trip well enough at Aintree in April - can strike first time out.

There are some wonderful trail-blazing two-milers around at the moment, but none more exciting than Great Field.

As long as he and Jody McGarvey stay upright in Cork's Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase, it is hard to see any of their seven rivals getting close.

Sporting Life tips

CORK: 12.05 Union Gap, 12.40 Getaway John, 1.10 Sams Profile, 1.45 Great Field, 2.15 Forge Meadow, 2.50 Voices Of Spring, 3.20 Eight And Bob.

HUNTINGDON: 12.15 Trigger Nichol, 12.50 Now McGinty, 1.20 Flash The Steel, 1.55 William H Bonney, 2.25 CHARBEL (NAP), 3.00 Silver Forever, 3.30 Boughtbeforelunch.

KELSO: 12.00 Romeo Brown, 12.30 Donna's Diamond, 1.05 Zerachiel, 1.35 Empire De Maulde, 2.10 Valleyofmilan, 2.40 Peters Cousin, 3.15 Border Victor.

PUNCHESTOWN: 12.20 Ballyneety, 12.55 Tornado Flyer, 1.25 Ar Eagla Na Heagla, 2.00 Min, 2.30 Ministerforsport, 3.05 Flynsini, 3.40 Santana Plessis.

DOUBLE: Charbel and Zerachiel.


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