Latest racing tips from The Colonel

Top racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, is giving Mercury readers his top racing tips for the festive period. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is at trackside most days, is regularly seen on TV and runs his own website. ...

The highly-regarded Midnight Chase, who finished a fine fifth in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, is on course to contest the £40,000 Grade Three Betfair. Don’t Settle For Less Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (1.45pm), the highlight of the six-race programme at Wetherby on Boxing Day.

The nine-year-old, who is trained by Neil Mulholland for owner Lady Clarke, won three competitive handicap chases at Cheltenham last season before his fifth in chasing’s Blue Riband at the Cheltenham Festival in March. His one outing this season came at Down Royal in Northern Ireland on November 5, when he fell two fences from home in the Grade One JNwine.com Champion Chase.

Mulholland said: “The plan is to go to the Betfair. Don’t Settle For Less Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase with Midnight Chase.

“We kicked him away for a piece of work this week and he worked well.

“He absolutely hated the soft ground at Down Royal last time out and hopefully we will get much better ground for him at Wetherby. Fingers crossed, the weather will stay fine ahead of the meeting.

“The horse has also shown his best form when going left-handed, so that is another reason why we plan to go to Wetherby.” Big Buck’s 14th win in a row at Ascot on Saturday in the Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle was a early christmas cracker and surpassed Bula’s tally of 13 consecutive hurdle wins and took his earnings into seven figures and is 4-6 to with a run for the Ladbroke World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. The very smart Cue Card looks set to meet the highly regarded Menorah at Newbury at the end of the month,the former high class hurdler is 16-1 for the Arkle Chase at the festival next March. News hit the press room’s this week that owner Dai Walters believes his star hurdler Oscar Whisky a winner in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle last weekend at Cheltenham has the class to take on Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle come March, he told the Racingpost this week ‘’One day someone is going to beat Big Buck’s I’m not saying it will be us but I’d love to give it a go with Oscar Whisky.’’ The note pad horse this week is Mirific,Tom Symonds french bred 5yo ran a eye-catching race behind red hot favourite Rowan Tiger in the Merry Christmas Novices Hurdle at a wet and damp Bangor-On-Dee on Monday. The gelding was supported at fancy odds in the morning and looked suited by the testing ground and wasnt given a unduly hard time after two out behind the market leader a return to 2m on soft ground will see the grey visit the winners circle. My Christmas selection box for my troops are Master Minded ( 11-2 ) in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, Big Zeb ( 4-5 ) in Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown on the 27th and Synchronised ( 7-1 ) in the Welsh National at Chepstow. Click and follow the Colonel on www.betwiththecolonel.co.uk