Matt Chapman’s ITV Horse Racing Tips
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Kempton 12:45 – Paisley Park
ITV Boxing Day gets under way here with the saved Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle over an extended 3m. It’s no surprise PAISLEY PARK has never been to Kempton before as it’s pretty tight for a very strong stayer. However, there are a number of natural front runners in here and they might just go a very strong clip. Obviously my hope has to reverse recent form with Champ, but with plenty of rain around he might do that for Emma Lavelle and Aidan Coleman.
Kempton 13:20 – Thyme Hill
This is the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over 3m. THYME HILL jumped badly against McFabulous at Newbury last time and won’t win if doing the same here. However, if he’s learnt from that he’s now too big a price for a horse with his talent so I will take a chance on Tom O’Brien and the master Philip Hobbs.
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Wetherby 13:35 – Sounds Russian
One from Wetherby is the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase over 3m. Questions about many of these including Shan Blue who looked brilliant at this track last season. I’m going to stick with a horse in great form in SOUNDS RUSSIAN who stayed on well behind Noble Yeats at Aintree when last seen. He’s progressing well and has strong eachway claims for Callum Bewley and Ruth Jefferson.
Kempton 13:55 – Constitution Hill
The Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle over 2m. This is not going to take long. CONSTITUTION HILL is the most exciting jumper in training and should have no problem landing this for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville. He was awesome in the Supreme and Fighting Fifth.
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Kempton 14:30 – L’Homme Presse
The feature of the day in the Grade 1 King George VI Chase over 3m. In a field full of second-season chasers it’s with no great confidence I’m siding with L’HOMME PRESSE, officially the best horse in the race with a BHA mark of 170.
The French import has been superb since sent over fences, facing only one defeat in seven tries over the larger obstacles and victories including the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown and Brown Advisory at the Cheltenham Festival.
The latter contest was not the greatest renewal of all time, but Charlie Deutsch’s ride is a decent stayer who jumps for fun and he really should be bang in the mix on the back of a taking comeback success in open handicap company at Newcastle.
Bravemansgame has bundles of talent, although officially rated 6lb inferior. Like L’Homme Presse, he disappointed behind Ahoy Senor at Aintree, but other than that has done little wrong and returned with a facile thumping of Eldorado Allen in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. He could easily prove good enough, and is already a Grade 1 winner at Kempton.
Stable companion Hitman is super talented and upped to nearly 2m6f at Haydock last time showed what he can do with a romp. He’s ditched by Harry Cobden but if relishing this distance could well give Sam Twiston-Davies a good spin.
Of the others, with the ground likely to soften up, Royale Pagaille could easily make the frame as an each-way shot for Rich Ricci. The eight-year-old goes well fresh and stays strong.
Kempton 15:05 – Balco Coastal
A novices’ limited handicap chase over an extended 2m4f. A wide open event. BALCO COASTAL does not always run over this trip but has done well over it when tried and is very lightly raced so might still have more to come. Trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Nico de Boinville, a third to Langer Dan in a decent hurdle at Aintree suggests he has the ability to have an eachway chance in this chase.
So best of luck and pray for Christmas Yeeehaaas! You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s Boxing Day Racing Tips
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
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