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The Mandarin’s Wednesday Selections for 27th December 2023

The Mandarin’s Selections from Leopardstown, Kempton Park & Chepstow


Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Podcast Beginners Chase 12.35
Marine Nationale
The eagerly awaited chasing bow of the unbeaten Marine National will draw all the attention on Wednesday’s card. The winner of the Supreme Novices’ at the Cheltenham Festival in March was bred from the flat, but took everything in his stride when landing the Supreme Novices’, so it will be interesting to see how he takes to fences. Barry Connell’s stable star won’t be given any rope by the bookies, but Marine Nationale is the one to beat

Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase (Grade 1) 1.10
A small field but a quality renewal all the same. It’s easy to make a case for Henry de Bromhead’s Captain Guiness, who looked as good as ever on his seasonal reappearance at Navan, seeing off Riviere D’etel and the re-opposing Dysart Dynamo, but it’s Willie Mullins’s Dinoblue that can take this valuable Group 1. Never out of the first two in seven starts over fences, she gets a 7lb pull over last year’s runner-up, and that should be enough to make the difference. Dinoblue took the Grade 3 Barberstown Castle Chase in November from the useful Fil Dor, and has been laid out for this race since, so gets the nod

Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 1.45
Daddy Long Legs (nap)
This French bred gelding bolted up on his first try over hurdles, looking potentially smart when putting 13 lengths of daylight between himself and the runner-up. In similar style, Gordon Elliott’s Down Memory Lane was a cosy winner on his first try over timber, so this race looks a straight showdown between this pair. Willie Mullins also sends out Predators Gold, who has won a Bumper and a Maiden Hurdle at Punchestown, but Daddy Long Legs is Paul Townend’s ride, so looks the first string. Interesting

Paddy Power Who Put The Wrappers Back In The Box? Handicap Hurdle 2.20
Joseph O’Brien might have the answer to this with Nusret, who drops into handicap company for the first time. This Golden Horn colt is a reliable sort and can only come on for the runners-up spot behind the useful Risk Belle in a Grade 3 Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier in the month. Gavin Cromwell’s Encanto Bruno is on a bit of a retrieval mission after trailing in last in the Royal Bond last time out, but is a good opponent and rates the main danger. Nusret to score ahead of Encanto Bruno and Call Me Lyreen

Paddy Power Chase (Extended Handicap Chase) (Listed) 3.00
Adamantly Chosen
In a wide open handicap, it may pay to side with Willie Mullins’s Adamantly Chosen as an each-way angle. Fourth in a Handicap Chase at Punchestown last month won by the re-opposing Idas Boy, this step up to 3 miles should suit, and he’s the choice of Paul Townend. Solid each-way claims for a valuable prize that Willie Mullins will be aiming at

Paddy Power The Flat One INH Flat Race 3.35
Bleu De Vassy
Gordon Elliott’s French bred gelding has hit the bar on both his starts under rules, so can go one better here. Of course, Willie Mullins has an enviable record in this in recent years, so Joystick has to enter calculations, but race experience should count for this Bumper. Bleu De Vassy to shed the maiden tag for the in-form Cullentra handler

Kempton Park

Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 1.55
Master Chewy
It’s a shame that there’s just the four runners for this Grade 2, especially with conditions perfect for racing at this time of year. However, that’s where we are, so Master Chewy has to be the pick of the bunch. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Walk In The Park gelding has really gone on since switched to chasing, and lines up here with a win and a brace of runners-up spots over fences this term. More to come and ready for some Black Type success now in the Novice Chasing Division

Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Handicap Chase (Limited Handicap Chase) (Grade 2) 2.30
Boothill (nb)
A cracking renewal where last year’s winner of the course and distance Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase moves up to the main division here at Kempton Park. Harry Fry’s Presenting gelding is a much improved model this year, with a brace of wins at Ascot over 17 furlongs confirming this as his best trip. Elixir De Nutz is another that has hit a patch of form, so a good duel is in store. Forecast material for this pair, but for win purposes, Boothill looks the less exposed so gets the nudge

Ladbrokes Get Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Chase 3.09
Tweed Skirt
Nicky Henderson holds the key to this Class 2 contest with Tweed Skirt. This Martaline mare was a cosy winner of a Mares’ Handicap Chase here in November of last year, and on her seasonal reappearance at Market Rasen she unseated when still in contention. Expected to come on for that run, and less exposed that Tom Lacey’s Tea Clipper, so the one to follow


Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2.10
Burdett Road
Already one of the hot-shots of this season after demolishing the field in the JCB Triumph Trial at Cheltenham last month, Burdett Road is one to keep on side. The form from that race has since been franked with the runner-up, An Bradan Feasa going in as we tipped last time out, so James Owen’s stable star is easy to back. That said, there’s a fair bit bit of rain around for the Welsh Grand National meeting, so these could be new conditions for Burdett Road, but he’s one out of the top drawer and should win

Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 2.50
It could be horses for courses here, as Gary Moore’s Nassalam returns to the scene of his 5 length win here in the trial for this race earlier this month. He was enjoying himself at the front of affairs going into the final half-mile, and although it’s another 7 furlongs here, Nassalam had plenty left under the bonnet in that race. Caolin Quinn returns to the saddle with Nassalam under a penalty, but this unexposed sort is just the type to land the feature. Every Chance

The Mandarin

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