I write on Christmas Eve and there is no horse racing for a couple of days but plenty to look forward to on Boxing day.
All the fuss about Christmas will all be over, Santa would have been and disappeared back to the North Pole; you’ve got thirty pairs of new socks (surprise), you’ve eaten too much, you’ve drunk too much, nearly overdosed on Quality Street and you’ve had an argument with the in-laws - Christmas is done. It’s Boxing Day and the horse racing is back!
They race at Kempton Park, Sedgefield, Huntingdon, Fontwell Park, Wetherby, Market Rasen, Wincanton and Wolverhampton on the Tapeta. That’s not including the meetings in Ireland!
The main event is, of course, the Grade One King George VI Chase over three-mile at Kempton Park at 3.05 and it looks a fairly open renewal. I could make a case for several, Might Bite, Waiting Patiently, Politologue and good old Thistlecrack. That said Bristol de Mai was going well last year until making a couple of blunders and I am of course a fan of the grey. I know he goes best at Haydock, but if he can get round this year without clattering one he must be in with a chance. At 15-2 he can be punted each-way and that is what I have done. Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said in the build-up "Last year he made a mistake at the fence going away from the stands. It was a right howler and he couldn't get back into the race. I don't see any reason why he can't go well round there. He has won going right-handed and run some excellent races away from Haydock. Everyone seems to label him a 'Haydock horse' but that's not the case.”
Earlier on the card at 1.55 it’s the Grade One 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase. So very good looking chasing prospects here none more so to my eyes than Santini, who made the perfect start to his chasing career at Newbury for Nicky Henderson. The form of the Grade Two win looks solid, second came out and won at Doncaster, and I think this six-year-old is a possible future star. I am on at 13-8.
Buveur D'air is an unbackable price in the G.1 Christmas Hurdle. Hopefully, he will win and simply cement his position at the head of the Champion Hurdle market - I am of course already on for the Festival at Evens.
On the Tapeta at Wolverhampton at 3.55 it’s the 6f Betway Conditions Stakes. Kachy is the star name on show, running for the first time since wind surgery, and at this best would prove too good for these. The biggest question mark is will he go on Tapeta? I have taken a chance at Evens that he will be fine – has won on Polytrack at Lingfield.
Straight after at 4.25 Fightwithme looks to have been given a great opportunity to open his account on his handicap debut off an opening mark of 79 in the Ladbrokes Nursery. The Gosden trained colt has made the frame in all three previous starts and looks the one to be on at 7-4.
All that is left is to say happy Christmas to you all and most of all, as ever, be lucky