Merry Christmas everyone! ITV’s coverage gets underway on Boxing Day with a Novices’ Limited HandicapVchase over an extended 2m4f. It’s a wide-open affair, and I’ll have a few quid each-way on the KILLER CLOWN for a festively named winner! My hope has yet to win in seven races, but there are signs he’s beginning to get his act together and the third at Sandown last time gives place claims at the very least for trainer Emma Lavelle and jockey Adam Wedge.
On to a Grade 1 in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over 3m. THE BIG BREAKAWAY was so good at Cheltenham first time I have to give him another chance even though this is no easy gimme. Shan Blue and If The Cap Fits are serious rivals but back up in trip and with a lead I expect my hope to take some stopping under Robbie Power for Colin Tizzard.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS PAGES
A Grade 3 handicap chase here over 3m. Wow, this is hard! Not many of these are strong stayers at the trip and for that reason I will go with THE DUTCHMAN who most certainly will get home. Trained by Tristan Davidson and ridden by Tommy Dowson, the selection was a fine second at Haydock in December and his stamina might prove key in the closing stages. He was last at Wetherby in a Grade 2 hurdle behind Roksana but has winning form at the track.
Another Grade 1 here in the Christmas Hurdle over 2m. Champion Hurdle heroine EPATANTE is the clear form pick in this race and will be very short odds for Aidan Coleman and Nicky Henderson. Something would have to go badly wrong for the defending Kempton champion not to score here with Silver Streak the obvious one for second place.
And finally from Kempton the big one, the Grade 1 King George VI Chase over 3m. I tipped up CLAN DES OBEAUX in many places for this months ago and nothing has changed my mind. The King George hat-trick seeker was a fine second to Bristol de Mai first time out this season and his jumping and strong travelling will make him very hard to beat here. I’m all over him in this column for the third year in a row for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies.
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Matt Chapman’s Boxing Day racing tips
- 5 to keep onside for Christmas week
- Timeform’s 4 handicap snips for the Christmas Festivals
- 4 trainers to follow at the Christmas Festivals
- Paddy Power’s Millionaire Chase: All you need to know about the MILLION quid New Year’s Day giveaway