Horse Racing tips: Paul Jacobs’ 3 can’t miss plays for Boxing Day

Paul has his beady eyes on Chantry House in the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Paul Jacobs

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14:10 Wetherby – Silver Hallmark

When not falling foul to the elements, the Rowland Meyrick Chase has unearthed some classy staying chasers in the past 30 years including the likes of Sunset Christo, The Thinker, Yahoo, Truckers Tavern and last year’s hero Top Ville Ben.

The last named has endured a mixed time of things since his success 12 months ago with three underwhelming performances, including when tipping up in the Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree last time out as he took a crushing fall at the 12th when in with every chance.

His recent run of form means he is now rated 4lbs lower than last year, whereas the 2018 hero Lake View Lad is still 2lbs higher and will turn 12 next month. Both would be big players if back to their best, but they have to give plenty of weight away to some progressive young performers with the likes of Good Boy Bobby, SILVER HALLMARK and Empire Steel on the short list.

The last named would relish any further rain and could well be ahead of his mark, although his fencing sometimes leaves a bit to be desired, so the Fergal O’Brien-trained charge gets the vote. Beaten a head by the smart Fiddlerontheroof last season, he followed up that placed effort with a strong staying success over the well-regarded Marown at Haydock Park.

That win earned him a penalty for his comeback run in the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle, where in hindsight he had a near impossible task giving away 6lbs to the eventual Hennessy second. A handicap mark of 145 seems very fair on the balance of his novice form and this step up to three miles should also be hugely in his favour.

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14:15 Market Rasen – Cash To Ash

Top weight Sidi Ismael looks the pivotal entry here having won his last two starts very readily at Lingfield Park and Wetherby off 114 and 118 – staying on strongly on both occasions over three miles. The extra three-and-a-half furlongs should prove right up his street, but a 9lbs hike in the weights may well be his undoing and is the question mark.

The Late Legend ran well until weakening between the last two fences in an extended three-and-three-quarter mile handicap chase at Exeter and should go well off his light weight with his quickfire fencing. But, marginal preference is for the Borders National runner-up CASH TO ASH.

He looked all over the winner of that Kelso marathon, until the remarkable Big River ran him down on the long run to the line. The selection had travelled well throughout that contest and jumped with great efficiency to boot. A 2lbs rise looks very fair and if over the exertions of that run three weeks ago, this looks the perfect race for him.

Downtown Getaway Nico de Boinville Palmers Hill Jonjo O'Neill Kempton February 22, 2020

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15:05 Kempton – Chantry House

Will his rivals make the mistake of letting Frodon do his own thing up front again, can Asterion Forlonge finally put in a clear round, will Minella Indo be effective on this sharp track and can the new kid on the block CHANTRY HOUSE take the step up in class in his stride?

Those are the conundrums that we face in a fascinating renewal of this famous Christmas show piece. Asterion is a strong traveller and has led in the past, but to cross swords with the slicker jumping Frodon will probably be a problem here and could well see him forced into mistakes. So, is there any other pace angle in the race? Well, Saint Calvados is a confirmed hold-up horse, dual winner Clans Des Obeaux is likely to race handier this time around after being left too far out of his ground behind his stablemate 12 months ago. Meanwhile, Minella Indo will be a presser at best, but more likely to race in mid division.

Lostintranslation and Chantry House are another pair unlikely to pester Frodon up top, Tornado Flyer is a confirmed hold-up horse and finally, Mister Fisher although only beaten a head by Frodon at Sandown last backend simply does not jump well enough to win a race of this nature nor does he look good enough.

So, we could in theory have a re-run of last year with the two differentials being that we definitely have a deeper race this year and Clan Des Obeaux will stalk rather than be held up. Although I suspect several of these will be under orders to at least pester Frodon going out onto the final circuit or otherwise accept the same fate as 12 months ago.

He looks the obvious choice, but if Chantry House – who has a high cruising speed and loads more improvement to come – jumps as slickly as he normally does and we don’t get too much rain, then he could be the new generation chaser to add his name to this amazing roll call of honour.

It was only in the last quarter mile of the Marsh Chase that he got to grips with his stablemate Fusil Raffles and a sharp three miles over which speed and fluent jumping counts at least as much as stamina could be his optimum set-up.

Paul Jacobs tips:

14:10 Wetherby – Silver Hallmark
14:15 Market Rasen –
Cash To Ash
15:05 Kempton –
Chantry House

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