Five Winners Over The Festive Period To Follow - 02/01/19

1. Quel Destin

It is fair to conclude, that Paul Nicholls certainly had a very Merry Christmas with as many as fifteen winners in the past fourteen days.

One of which was Quel Destin in the Grade One Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow on the 27th December. Having virtually made all, the french-bred 3yo jumped fluently around the long-galloping circuit and responded well to strong pressure in a dual to the line with Adjali.

He was always holding his rival, and has since jumped the Nicky Henderson 3yo in the JCB Triumph market at the Cheltenham Festival.

It is now four wins in a row for the grey; Quel Destin.

2. Champ

Champ - the horse named after the great Sir AP McCoy, just continues to roll on for Nicky Henderson.

The 6yo has won his last four over hurdles, having finished second on his debut over timber to the very smart Kim Bailey-trained Vinndication.

Champ claimed glory under Barry Geraghty in the Grade One Betway Challow Novices Hurdle at Newbury in between Christmas and New Year, which has handed him the favouritism tag for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.

3. Dynamite Dollars

With Mengli Khan, Lalor and Getabird all disappointing in the month of December, it has blown the Arkle market wide open.

Kalashnikov had a chance to boost his claims for the two-mile novice event at the Cheltenham Festival over Christmas, but it was another candidate - Dynamite Dollars who took advantage of where others failed, when winning the Wayward Lad at Kempton.

He has proved he can handle all conditions, and looks a dark horse in the current division.

The 5yo is a general 6-1 chance now for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham in March.

4. Kemboy

One of the rides of the season was at Leopardstown in the Savills Chase - previously known as the Lexus, when David Mullins' decisive move on Kemboy passing the judge with a circuit to go, proved a winning one.

Kemboy was making his first start since victory in the Clonmel Oil Chase back in November, having been unable to race in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury due to adverse weather conditions.

The 6yo made rapid headway on the field going out on the second lap, and held them all from the front, winning by a seven-length margin.

He now looks a future star for Willie Mullins, and provides a realistic chance of his first ever Gold Cup winner at the Cheltenham Festival.

5. Sharjah

Despite his critics, you cannot fault the Willie Mullins-trained Sharjah, as he just keeps proving everyone wrong.

After a short spell on the flat over the summer, he was not disgraced on his return to timber in the WKD Hurdle, before sweeping stablemate Faugheen aside in the Morgiana Hurdle.

That's not all - as he demonstrated that was no fluke when backing that up with a win in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, beating some very good horses in the shape of Supasundae and Melon, with Samcro yet again disappointing - having said that, he is verifying to all that he is no two-miler.

Sharjah all of a sudden is a Champion Hurdle potential, and with Laurina messing around with the ground conditions, the 5yo gelding looks a definite contender.