Thursday 19 December 2019 5:24 pm

David Pipe on his runners across the country over the next few days

Bill Esdaile is City A.M. racing editor and managing director of Square in the Air.

ONLY the one runner for me today at rain-soaked Ascot where it will be hard work. I was thrilled with ISRAEL CHAMP at Cheltenham last month and he is back in action in this afternoon’s Listed bumper (3.40pm).

It’s a hot-looking race and life will be tougher with a 4lb penalty to carry, but we think he’s a nice horse and we’ll see just how nice he is later.

Tomorrow, UMBRIGADO has been declared to run in the valuable handicap hurdle (3.35pm) over two miles.

We are dropping him back in trip as he didn’t quite get home last time and, given the bad ground, hopefully two miles won’t be too sharp for him.

We are likely to send DAKLONDIKE up to Haydock to defend his crown in the Tommy Whittle (2.40pm).

He is a bit of a monkey but ran well enough on ground that may have been a bit too lively for him in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time.

These testing conditions will be ideal for him and he should go well.

DELL’ ARCA will probably take his chance in the handicap hurdle (2.05pm) up at Haydock too.He’s struggled a bit over fences of late, but we are hopeful the combination of soft ground and the switch back to smaller obstacles may spark a revival.

Finally, a word on City A.M. syndicate horse COLLINGWOOD COURT who is now back cantering after a recent wind operation.

All seems well with him and we should have some exciting days ahead in 2020.