I am posting on Christmas Eve and by the time the following bets run all the fuss about Christmas will all be over. Santa would have dropped down your chimney and disappeared back up to the North Pole. No doubt you will have been gifted half-a-dozen pairs of new socks, and smiled nicely whilst receiving them. Friends and family have popped over to see you and eaten you out of house and home and worse still drunk all your booze! And I would bet Even money you’re eating bubble and squeak for breakfast!
Anyhow, it’s done for another year and horse racing is back! They race over the sticks at Sedgefield, Fontwell, Wetherby, Market Rasen, Wincanton and of course Kempton; sadly Huntingdon was lost to the weather. They also go on the Tapeta of Wolverhampton and if that isn’t enough for you they have a race of two in Ireland as well with Samcro and Faugheen going head-to-head and Fakir D’Oudairies and Laurina facing-off.
It’s the sort of day you could have twenty bets running and get it all wrong and do your brains! I am having four bets, a cheeky Boxing Day Yankee if that is your thing.
First up for me at 1.55 is the Grade One Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase over three-mile at Kempton. Slate House does have a habit of making at least one little mistake during a race, see Cheltenham in November when I tipped him for the BetVictor Gold Cup! That said he is the best horse lining-up to my eye and I was pretty impressed by his victory at Huntingdon earlier this month. This track is nowhere near as tricky as Cheltenham and he is strongly fancied to take this and I have 9-4.
At 2.25 it’s down to Arundel for the 2m1½ f Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Hurdle at Fontwell. Aiguille Rouge has two track and trip victories to her name on soft heavy in places going and the chestnut mare clearly likes it down here. This would require a career-best effort but the five-year-old is open to improvement and back at her favourite track and down in class from the Listed heat tried in last time, she should be backed in an open looking heat. You can get 14-1 which I was surprised about and took happily.
Next, I am looking up to Wolverhampton as I fancy one in the 2.50 1m½f Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Nursery Handicap. Baadirr has a row of ducks next to his name with three seconds on the All-Weather. He should be capable of winning a race like this; front running style should suit here and with the cheekpieces going on and Georgia Cox taking off 3lb the colt is fancied to open his account here. 100-30 is about Christmas Eve morning.
At 3.05 back down at Kempton it’s the big one the three-mile Grade One Ladbrokes King George VI Chase and it looks like a cracking renewal, not much quantity but plenty of quality in the 7-runner field. We have the reigning champion Clan Des Obeaux, the highest-rated chaser in Britain Cyrname, Betfair Chase winner and the £1 million-bonus chasing Lostintranslation plus 2016 winner of this Thistlecrack back for a fourth time. Harry Cobden had the enviable, or unenviable task depending on how you look at it, of deciding which of the Paul Nicholls trained pair to ride; he has picked Cyrname and I think he has messed-up. It is the first try at the trip for Cyrname; if he stays, and he could very well, then he will be there in the mix at the end no doubt but it is a question to be answered. Lostintranslation lowered the colours of my old favourite Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase and is one we know will stay having won the G.1 Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in April. Thistlecrack is having his fourth run in the race he famously won as a novice in 2016; second of course last year. I backed last years winner of this Clan Des Obeaux for the Gold Cup back in March when he faded out if it late on; he went well for a long time though and he ran another good race in the Betway Bowl at Aintree after that. Second on his seasonal reappearance in the G.1 Champion Chase at down Royal last month trainer Paul Nicholls said afterwards “I'm thrilled with that. He ran a blinding race. He always comes on a bit for his first run, as he did last year from Haydock to Kempton. He's run a terrific race and he was just beaten by a better horse on the day, no excuses. There should be much more to come and he will go straight to Kempton.” Bottom line he has been there and done it and I think that means a lot in this race. I have a bit of the 4-1.
As this post is going up
nice and early it just leaves me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and as ever