I love Boxing Day racing, but it’s a real shame we don’t have some Irish-trained horses running over the festive period in the UK as it adds a little spice. Henry de Bromhead will be gutted not to be able to run Monalee in the King George VI Chase. De Bromhead’s Put The Kettle On was a really interesting contender against Altior too in the Desert Orchid Chase, but alas it’s not to be.
Alnadam was impressive at Sandown, but does have to contend with an 8lbs rise in the weights for that win.
The Nicky Henderson pair are of interest. Falco Blitz jumped left at Ascot, so that’s not ideal around a right-handed track like Kempton. Meanwhile, Son of Camas will be fitter for this and as long as the ground doesn’t get too bad, the gelding will be thereabouts.
Hold The Note will be much better over this trip, but I can’t help but be drawn to GALAHAD QUEST. He is only a four-year-old and gets a weight for age allowance. He also handles the ground and if it does get very soft, he is very attractive each-way punt.
The Big Breakaway has always promised to be a good horse, but he has looked painfully slow in his two runs this season. I have no doubt he is better than that and I am hoping he can show more of his spark over three miles around here. But, he just races like anything with pace is going to beat him.
If The Cap Fits was the highest rated of these over hurdles and has made a good start to his chasing career. He is dangerous to dismiss as the form is in the book and he is proven on the soft ground. SHAN BLUE is the clear form pick on what we have seen though. He jumped brilliantly at Wetherby both times and sets a strong standard in this contest.
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Lots to choose from in here, with Spiritofthegames very much on the shortlist. Meanwhile, Canelo another who has a very strong chance as he is proven on the ground and had a really good run last time at Newbury with conditions not in his favour.
However, I have gone for BEAU BAY as I was really impressed when he won the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over the National Fences at Aintree. He has a nice racing weight and will handle conditions. The step up in trip should suit.
Silver Streak deserves to win one of these after getting carried out at Newcastle and then getting chinned at Cheltenham. If the rain misses Kempton, I reckon he is the one likely to finish second to EPATANTE. It is very difficult to look past her in a race where she announced herself on the big stage last year, before winning the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Santini getting added to the field for this race helps with the Cheltenham Gold Cup picture and this horse will be sharper for his first run. I am just hoping he gets a good start as it will make life very difficult for himself, if he gets in behind some of these. He stays really well though, and will be finishing well. Cyrname fans will be hoping they don’t have too much rain as less of a stamina test will really suit his style and his path to this year’s race is much smoother than last year’s one.
Waiting Patiently is a fascinating runner and the reigning champion jockey Brian Hughes has given up what could’ve been a bumper book of rides at Wetherby to come down south and ride him. That tells you what sort of regard the horse is held in. Lostintranslation fans will be hoping the rain stays away as he ran poorly at Haydock in the mud.
Saint Calvados is unproven over this trip and it would be a hell of a training performance to win this by his young handler. Real Steel ran well at Ascot looking in need of the run and he could surprise, land in the places.
CLAN DES OBEAUX was subjected to a hard race at Haydock behind Bristol de Mai and that will put a lot of people off. I won the Charlie Hall Chase on See More Business in 1999 and he broke the track record that day. I thought he may not recover from a hard race for the King George and he won by 17 lengths pulling up! Paul Nicholls is a genius with staying chasers and if anyone can, he can get this lad back for this. Multiple winners of this race are the norm and Clan des Obeaux can land the hat-trick.
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