We’ve got a feast of action on Boxing Day to complete what should be a fantastic Christmas of sport, which is highlighted by the action at Kempton.
I’ve highlighted some of the best bets across some of the many cards and of course tried to find some value.
Last week saw two winners with Thistlecrack in the Long Walk Hurdle at 2/1 and Wakanda won advised at 12/1.
Fiztwilliam has run in two juvenile hurdles around Newbury and has been well beaten by some smart looking prospects in Kasakh Noir, Jaleo and Clan Des Obeaux. This looks a weak enough race and with his experience can go well under Leighton Aspell, who takes over from Conor O’Farrell.
Advice: Fitzwilliam (6/1 each-way)
Warren Greatrex’s Dolatulo claimed the pot last year after a run over the Grand National fences. He’s been set up similarly after a run in the Becher Chase. No Planning can be ridden in many ways and made all when winning last time in May. If ridden in the same aggressive manner could be tough to pass. What A Good Night is out of the handicap but has a chance if replicating his win Bangor. The tentative vote goes to the quirky Grandads Horse who won his only start around the course and does like it in December. If on his best behaviour and form can hit the frame at a price.
Advice: Grandads Horse (12/1 each-way)
A chance is taken on Tea For Two who made a taking chase debut at the beginning of the month at Exeter. He shaped well in a Listed handicap hurdle in January over 2m5f, which suggests he would stay. He is a son of Kayf Tara and the sire has produced plenty of stayers including the likes of Thistlecrack and Carruthers. Native River won a Grade 2 Novices’ race last time at Newbury and is the obvious one to beat.
Advice: Tea For Two (9/4 Win)
Foreign Diplomat was a winner around Chelmsford nine-days ago however despite the form looking good on paper, the worry is transferring from that run onto the Tapeta surface. Dougan represents an in-form team and we saw his work partner Flowers On Venus won a maiden on Monday. He has won twice and can complete the hat-trick for David Evans despite the wider draw. Just three starts for this three-year-old and still could have more to offer following just a 4lb rise in the weights.
Advice: Dougan (5/2 Win)
15:10 Kempton – King George VI Chase
Paul Nicholls has dominated this race of late with Silviniaco Conti in the last two years and Kauto Star previously. He had the run of the race in the Betfair Chase but couldn’t beat a rejuvenated Cue Card. Colin Tizzard’s charge has moved to a new barn and he has looked better than ever with the way he has travelled and quickened in the latter stages of his two races this season. In a race where there looks to be plenty of early pace he could be the one to be with as it could be set-up for a closer.
Vautour jumped left-handed at Ascot, which is a slight concern, plus has to prove his stamina here, which could see a change of tactics, which overall leave a question mark. Don Cossack looks the one to beat and is one that will settle in midfield. With the early pace he could get first run on a few of these making him difficult to beat. Smad Place jumped beautifully in the Hennessy and what a sight that victory was. However this is harder and isn’t likely to get an easy lead as he did in that race.
Advice: Cue Card (4/1 each-way)
This looks an interesting bumper where you can give chance to a few of these. Nobel Leader gets the vote after a third to the ready Keeper Hill on debut. Since then the winner has been sold for £110K and the horse that finished sixth in that race has had another run since finishing in a place. With a run under his belt this James Evans runner deserves some respect in an open contest and at double figured odds looked overpriced. Westend Story has his first run for top connections and warrants respect, as does Wenyerreadyfreddie. Adman Sam has the experience of a run and was third on debut. He could be another to get involved.
Advice: Nobel Leader (12/1 each-way)
I’ve previewed the Market Rasen card for picksfromthepaddock.co.uk. – here are the picks:
12:25 – King’s Road (11/2 each-way)
13:00 – Miss Joeking (7/1 Win)
13:35 – Palm Grey (4/1 Win)
14:10 – Ultimatum Du Roy (6/1 each-way)
14:45 – Chestnut Ben (6/1 each-way)
15:20 – Itsnowcato (4/1 Win) & Scoppio Del Carro (10/1 each-way)
Merry Christmas & Good Luck!