Ante Post Focus uploaded - Cheltenham Festival 'Wash Up' Days 1 & 2 uploaded - Ryder Cup Ante Post uploaded - Ante Post Focus on Tingle Creek & King George VI Chase uploaded - Naas Monday (start of Irish Flat Turf Season) uploaded - Paul's Blog uploaded
I woke up to a heavy blanket of snow this morning so thought it would be apt to give details of the Christmas schedule.
On the racing front, everything will continue as normal up until Thursday, December 21st, where I would normally be writing a preview of the Friday action from Ascot but I am away at an overnight Christmas function so that preview will be uploaded early on the morning of racing instead.
Between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, in the Race Previews I will be covering all four days from Leopardstown (Dec 26-29), the two-day Kempton Meeting (Dec 26-27), the Welsh Grand National Meeting from Chepstow (Dec 27), the Challow Hurdle Meeting from Newbury (Dec 30) and Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day Meeting (Jan 1) plus any other bits and bobs of interest on those days. Therefore the only day not being covered during Christmas week will be New Year’s Eve (Sunday).
As for the Cheltenham Ante-Post copy, as Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year and then Boxing Day on Tuesday will be manic with three big meetings to cover for the 27th, it makes sense to upload that copy on Christmas Eve (Sunday) instead. The following week’s Cheltenham Ante-Post copy will be uploaded on Monday as usual which is New Year’s Day. The first week of 2018 will continue as usual and then I am away for a three-day midweek break between January 9-11 to recharge the batteries as usual after a hectic period. Two years ago it was Amsterdam, last year it was Prague and this time I’m going to check out Budapest. The only regular column that won’t be covered during those three days is Ante-Post Focus.
Paul Smith will continue to cover The Ashes and, with the Aussies 2-0 up, I’d say that we are where we want to be at this juncture with his correct score recommendation. The third Test Match begins on Wednesday.
The following day sees the opening matches of the World PDC Darts Championships (hurrah!) which Mike Henderson will be covering for us on Tuesday with his outright preview and first round recommendations. As usual he will cover the rest of the tournament from Boxing Day onwards on a round-by-round basis. Michael van Gerwen will be an odds-on favourite but he would have preferred an easier first round opponent than Cristian Kist.
Andy Richmond’s weekly NFL content and my Premier League Picks will continue as usual and I covered the Sports Personality of the Year in the General Sport section on Friday.
Enjoy the two big north-west derbies this afternoon and I’ll be back tomorrow with Week 4 of the Cheltenham Ante-Post column and am already looking forward to the two-day meeting at Cheltenham at the weekend.