Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Double Handful

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Double Handful

Article excerpt

Byline: John Shaw's racing betting column in association with

THE Saturday before Christmas is always an important one for punters.

In years past a successful Saturday would mean an upgrade of the presents I purchase, an unsuccessful one would see me doing a Macaulay Culkin.

A trip to Ascot to watch the JLT Long Walk Hurdle this afternoon at least gets me out of a tour of packed shopping centres. Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.

GAMBLING WISDOM "He's going Mind you, I always enjoyed taking my young son to Santa's Grotto. I used to tell him if he broke wind on Santa's lap, he's required by North Pole law to bring you two of everything you ask for.

nudist through wire Australian commentator I'm very excited to see CALL ME LORD at close quarters today after he stuffed Lil Rockerfeller and Wholestone at Sandown in April.

That performance oozed class and a repeat today would see him win with a bit to spare. Okay, that victory came over two-miles, five furlongs whereas today's trip is over three miles - but he didn't look like he was stopping that day, winning by 16 lengths.

The betting tells you how highly Nicky Henderson's five-year-old is regarded.

Call Me Lord has been installed the favourite ahead of the last two winners of this race - Sam Spinner and Unowhatimeanharry.

Last year's hero Sam Spinner will wear cheekpieces for the first time and they'll need to have some effect if his run at Newbury last month is anything to go by.

than a a barbed He unseated Joe Colliver at the second-last but was already well beaten at the time.

race The 2016 winner Unowhatimeanharry appears the main danger to the selection.

Harry Fry's 10-year-old returned to winning form in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month and looks sure to go well. Interestingly, all of Call Me Lord's runs over obstacles so far have been recorded on right-hand courses (Sandown, Huntingdon and Wincanton) so he should be at home at Ascot today. …

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