Matt Chapman: I’m backing River to go with the flow in the King George VI Chase

The Cheltenham Gold Cup winner is just too big a price to ignore in Wednesday's feature race at Kempton Park (15.05) ...

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Ho Ho Ho! Here’s hoping your Christmas Day is a special one, but however the festivities go one thing’s for sure, Boxing Day will be a cracker with the King George VI Chase taking centre stage.

I’m very lucky to be at Kempton for ITV, and as well as four races from Kempton we will bring you the Rowland Meyrick from Wetherby as well.

Let’s get straight to it, and the 1.20pm at Kempton is a novices’ limited handicap chase over an extended 2m 4f. I’m going to be a bit dull here as I believe GLEN FORSA will take all the beating for Mick Channon after a fine success over a bit further at Chepstow last time.

He appears to jump well and although up 11lb can score again.

Santini

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Next up is the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over 3m. I’m all over SANTINI here, who looked really good when scoring at Newbury on his debut. This is no gimme, but Nicky Henderson’s hope might just be King George favourite this time next year. He was a class act over hurdles who jumps well.

It’s the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle over 2m at 2.30pm. Obviously BUVEUR D’AIR will win this bar an accident, as the dual Champion Hurdle hero looked better than ever when stuffing Samcro at Newcastle last time. I’ll take If the Cap Fits for the forecast. He’s getting better and better.

And finally at Kempton, the featured Grade 1 King George VI Chase over 3m at 3.05pm. I can’t believe the price of NATIVE RIVER and I’ll have a good few quid each-way on Colin Tizzard’s runner. I think the Gold Cup hero will improve a lot for his comeback at Haydock and there’s every chance this will turn into a slog, which will suit him.

At Wetherby, meanwhile, the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick is over 3m at 2.10pm. The one I like each-way here is the in-form Caroline Bailey runner CROSSPARK. My hope is up in the weights, but he’s also in the form of his life and will be staying on when others have had enough.

So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas with bells on. You hear me Paddy?

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