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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

One trainer, one jockey, one horse and one race to watch this Saturday

Anthony Honeyball has major chances in three of ITV4's televised races on Saturday
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One trainer . . . Anthony Honeyball

It could be a big day for Honeyball at Warwick, with Cresswell Breeze among the favourites for the Betfred Classic Chase (3.40 ITV4/RUK) and the hat-trick seeking Ms Parfois arguably the main danger to Duel At Dawn in the Betfred Home of Goals Galore Hampton Novices' Chase (1.50 ITV4/RUK).

Honeyball is only eight winners shy of surpassing his best season and his horses have been running well throughout the season, with 12 winners from 39 runners since the start of December, a statistic that improves to two from five since the turn of the year.

The trainer might want to watch the Handicap Chase (3.15 ITV4/RUK) at Kempton through his fingers, given Fountains Windfall bids for redemption after falling when going ominously well in each of two recent starts in novice company. 

One jockey . . . Brian Hughes

Waiting Patiently: cause enough for Brian Hughes to make a rare trip to Kempton
The north's finest is at Kempton rather than Wetherby or Warwick, primarily to renew his alliance with the Malcolm Jefferson-trainer Waiting Patiently, who lines up in the Listed 32Red Chase at 2.05 (ITV4/RUK).

It is slightly surprising more trainers haven't chosen to make use of his rare trip south – Hughes only has three rides against his name at Kempton in the last five years – but Richard Newland wasn't slow to jock up Hughes on Le Patriote, who makes his debut for the yard in the 32Red Lanzarote Hurdle at 2.40 (ITV4/RUK).

Le Patriote was rated 135 by the French handicapper on his penultimate start but gets in off 127 here at a track which will ride more like the speed-favouring venues such as Enghien and Compiegne.

One horse . . . Mr Whipped

Mr Whipped puts his Cheltenham claims on the line at Warwick on Saturday
A winning pointer in Ireland, Mr Whipped defied a penalty at Newbury last time when seeing off Gowiththeflow in determined fashion to make it two from two since joining Nicky Henderson.

Mr Whipped looks to take the next step in his education at Warwick in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (3.00 ITV4/RUK), a race won by Willoughby Court last season and The New One back in 2013, both of whom went on to score over this intermediate trip of 2m5f at the festival. 

Mr Whipped is currently a best-priced 33-1 for the Ballymore Properties over that trip on the Wednesday, but is no bigger than 20-1 for the Albert Bartlett over three miles on the Friday. 

One Race . . . Punchestown 2.10

Mengli Khan is the headline attraction in the 2.10 at Punchestown
The chaotic nature of Mengli Khan's exit through the wing of the penultimate hurdle in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas ensures there is already plenty of interest in the Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle.

Throw in two of last season's leading bumper horses in the Willie Mullins-trained Getabird and Carter McKay and you have an enticing contest. 

It's probably worth mentioning that recent Mullins winners include Mikael D'Haguenet, Vautour, Douvan and Min, and we suggest you'll be referring to this race on Racing Post Replays plenty of times in the next eight weeks and beyond. 

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It's probably worth mentioning that recent Mullins winners include Mikael D'Haguenet, Vautour, Douvan and Min
E.W. Terms
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