It's the final big raceday before the busy Christmas racing period so enjoy the Ascot, Navan and Haydock action.

It's good to have a week off to recharge the batteries and have us all raring to go come St Stephen's Day or Boxing Day to you in the UK!

Enjoy Christmas as best you can it will be Saturday week before this column returns which it turns out is New Years Day. Until 2022 enjoy and have a great time.

West Cork won the Greatwood hurdle at the Cheltenham November meeting in great style. He raced quite freely early doors in that race yet powered up the hill to comfortably beat the leader No Ordinary Joe and hold the late attach by Adagio. The handicapper has hit him with a 7lb hike in the ratings. That makes life tougher but he travelled so well around the old course at Cheltenham that I think he could can go in again. His record over hurdles in six starts reads three wins and three seconds with further progression to come. Goshen is interesting as he is drooping down to a nice mark of 153 but probably needs deeper ground.

Jonjo O’Neill has a good candidate in Garry Clermont. He might have won here the last day but for getting the final hurdle all wrong, running it down to his left losing ground and momentum. I think that the 5lbs hike given for finishing second is harsh and hopefully that will not cost him victory in a good handicap this season. He has a nice blend of experience over hurdles following 8 runs including a win at Warwick over 2m3f. The easier ground today compared to last month will suit and he looks overpriced if able to get a lead to the final hurdle as he hit the front too soon the last day.

Ascot 3:35

0.5 Point Each Way West Cork 8/1 William Hill 5 places else 15/2 Betfair  SB 5 places.

0.5 point each way Garry Clermont 14/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 5 places.

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