Boxing Day Wetherby top racing tip: Into Overdrive set for big race challenge

From Boxing Day's bumper racing programme, Tipstrr's horse racing expert Steve Jones has shared his best value bet from a high-class field in the biggest race on Wetherby's card.

With seven-to-eight-year-olds having completely dominated this race over the last decade, the younger chasers have a very strong hand once again, with the top four in the market all coming from this age group.

The short-priced favourite is Shan Blue, who concedes race fitness as he runs for the first time since being well beaten by Sam Brown in the Grade 3 Betway Handicap Chase at the Aintree Festival in April.

At the start of this month, Ruth Jefferson's Sounds Russian finished well ahead of Sam Brown in the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase at that same venue.

On that combined Aintree form, Sounds Russian looks good value to come out on top, and with handicap figures over fences of 11121, he is still progressing in this sphere and there is likely more to come.

But one who can beat him is another progressive seven-year-old, Into Overdrive, whose last five handicap runs over fences have produced equally impressive figures of 11112.

13:35 (Wetherby) Into Overdrive

The only runner to have beaten Into Overdrive during this highly productive series of runs since March has been L'Homme Presse, who finished just a length ahead in the Grade 3 Rehearsal Handicap Chase at Newcastle in late November.

The front pair finished clear of the rest and L'Homme Presse is currently well supported to head the early market for the extremely valuable Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton just an hour after this race.

Very significantly, last year's winner of today's event, Good Boy Bobby, had previously finished runner-up in the Grade 3 Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle (just like Into Overdrive), and similar success was enjoyed by the winners of both the 2019 and 2018 renewals.

Clearly, the Rehearsal Chase has offered a good form line for this race in recent years, so the fact that Into Overdrive was able to run to within a length of the current King George favourite gives him an extremely solid look, especially as he had won his previous four handicaps and he hasn't finished improving yet.

Just prior to his big run in the Rehearsal Chase, Into Overdrive won a Grade 3 handicap (on good to soft ground) over today's fences by a comfortable margin over a shorter trip, so he has displayed both speed and stamina under a combination of these conditions in his two runs so far this season.

Under his regular partner, Jamie Hamilton, there appears to be plenty more to come and his connections could hardly be in much better form, with trainer Mark Walford's last two runners winning, both of them ridden by Hamilton.

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