The top-quality action keeps on coming over the festive period with racing on Wednesday at Newbury, Leopardstown and Doncaster.

Nick Luck has cast an eye over the ITV action.


EARLY DU LEMO looks a good bet at 10/3 in the TV opener at Newbury on Wednesday (1.25pm). His career best came in this race three years ago, subsequent to which he has been confined mainly to Sandown, where he ran fine last time without really being knocked around. That should have teed him up nicely for this, and he certainly won’t mind significantly softer ground.

DICKIE DIVER looks to have been found an eminently sensible target in the handicap hurdle (2.00pm). We’ve seen little of him in the last couple of years, and he was asked a really tough question over fences at the Festival, but he looks well handicapped on the balance of his achievements, notably his fourth to Minella Indo and Co in the Albert Bartlett three seasons back.

LOSSIEMOUTH can upset the big two in the Challow Hurdle (3.05pm) at 3/1. Ridden by Welsh National hero Stan Sheppard, this unconventionally bred horse has looked a completely different ballgame since being fitted with blinkers, powering away from rivals in a Grade Two at Sandown last time. If the rain keeps falling, this will be a significant test, which should play to his strengths, while Stage Star and Gringo d’Aubrelle both look horses that could be better on a sounder surface.


FURY ROAD is the suggestion at 13/2 in the Grade One Nevills Hotels Novices Chase at Leopardstown (1.45pm). He has had a rather patchy career, but the good is very good, and that normally coincides with very soft ground and the addition of Jack Kennedy, both of which he gets here. I like the idea of cheekpieces after he finished rather weakly in the Drinmore, a run which still gives him a shout as it stands.


KALOOKI is getting another chance at 11/2 in the handicap chase at Doncaster (2.50pm). I was bitterly disappointed with him at Newbury, but he never found his rhythm and made too many mistakes. Slightly softer ground and a longer trip with less depth of opposition should enable him to find his comfort zone, within which he remains perfectly well treated.