Racing tips: Pendra on course for win at Wetherby Races

wet  Wetherby Races.  (121117M2a)

wet Wetherby Races. (121117M2a)

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Were you unfortunate enough to receive an awful jumper this Christmas, one which you would never dare to wear outdoors?

Well fear not, Wetherby Racecourse has come to your rescue.

This Saturday it’s their first meeting of 2014 and it’s Christmas Jumper Day.

Racegoers can get entry to the Paddock Enclosure for just £10 (saving £6) just by wearing a festive woolly. There’s even a prize for the Best turned-out Jumper!

The seven-race programme kicks off at 12.30pm with the feature race a two-mile handicap chase offering prize money of £18,500.

In this race, local interest could be provided by Sue Smith’s course winner De Boitron but he has risen in the weights and a better option could be Pendra.

Charlie Longsdon has his team in great form and Pendra is a specialist two-miler suited by soft ground.

Chicklemix won at Wetherby on Boxing Day in 2012 and holds entries in two races at Wetherby.

Her course experience will be invaluable as will the 5lb claim of regular rider Miss G Andrews. This grey mare could be worth an each-way bet in whichever race she runs. The final event is a fillies Bumper race and I am reliably informed that Alan Swinbank is keen to win this one.

He has declared both Molly Cat and Georgian Firebird, both making their first racecourse appearance. Which ever filly represents this shrewd stable will do for me.

There is a shuttle bus to and from the course from Wetherby bus station .

Meantime, down in at Warwick, I am quite keen on Vesper Bell if Willie Mullins sends him over from Ireland to contest the Classic Chase.

He ran well in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham and has form in heavy ground at Punchestown so ticks all the right boxes. If he misses the boat then Royale Knight would be the selection.

Over at Kempton, I fancy Royal Boy to run a big race in the Lanzarote Hurdle. This Nicky Henderson trained seven-year old won in facile style at Ascot just before Christmas and I thought then that a race like this was ready made for him. He could yet be diverted to contest the easier novice hurdle at Warwick but is worth following until beaten on any track.

Garlick’s Saturday Goodies: Pendra – Wetherby 2:15pmChicklemix – Wetherby 1:05pm or 3:25pm; Alan Swinbank’s selection – Wetherby 3:55pm; Royal Boy – Kempton 2:40pm; Vesper Bell - Warwick 3:35pm.