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Danger Close Featured in Christmas Stakes Nominations

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Sandown Racecourse will play host to eight races on Boxing Day, including the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m).

Danger Close will likely run in the Christmas Stakes at Sandown this Friday.

Danger Close will likely run in the Christmas Stakes at Sandown this Friday. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

14 sprinters have been nominated for the festive race this Friday, including the Jason Warren-trained Danger Close.

The five-year-old gelding finished third in the Jeep 55 Second Challenge Heat 5 (955m) first up on November 14 before winning the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) on the course proper on December 6.

Warren revealed he will be studying the field, weights, and barrier draw closely for the 2014 Christmas Stakes but that Danger Close remains a likely runner.

The majority of Danger Close’s wins have been over 1000 metres (five of six) but Warren believes he can be just as successful over 1200 metres, with the Christmas Stakes the perfectly timed race to test the gelding.

“He’s been a great horse for the stable once we worked out all his little quirks, the right way to ride him and the distances to run him in, mostly 1000 metres,” Warren told Sky Racing.

“I don’t think 1200 metres should be a problem because he’s rock-hard fit so we’ll try him over it and assess the horse from there.

“I think his race pattern will be fine to get 1200 now. I wouldn’t like to be going to 1200 first or second-up, but now he’s third-up I think it will be fine.”

Warren has booked Nick Hall to ride Danger Close seeing as usual hoop Craig Newitt is now based in Singapore. Hall will be told to ride the gelding quietly in the early stages before one finishing sprint.

“Nick is good with the whip in the left hand. He’s a cool rider that can ride a nice patient race on him,” Warren said.

“So I think Nick will suit him.”

Leading the 2014 Christmas Stakes nominations are Chris Waller’s Heart Testa and Peter Moody’s Ready To Rip while Robbie Laing has nominated a whopping four horses – Lord Of The Sky, Mr Make Believe, Hannaford, and Boomwaa.

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