King George VI Chase day at Kempton Park and other Boxing Day 2022 bets

I am going up nice and early as it is the season of goodwill and all that with the bets for Boxing Day. There is as is tradition a bucket load or horse racing on Boxing Day and most of it, I would advise, is best left alone as you could find yourself pawning the Christmas presents when the shops reopen next week.

I will be hunting round for the best prices on Boxing Day morning, but the planned bets, providing there are no major changes in going etc........ can be found below. 

There is of course though some top-class action mixed in with the devilishly tricky handicaps but hopefully I have a few winners up my sleeve to pay for the festivities.

Best bets for the horse racing at Kempton Park

It has been a quiet and frustrating few days with the weather taking its toll on meeting after meeting but all looks set fair for Boxing Day with a top-class card at Kempton taking centre stage including four Grade One races to enjoy.

The first of the big races is the rearranged 3m½f Grade One Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle at 12.45; should have been run at Ascot last weekend. Champ just got the better of Paisley Park at Newbury in the G.2 Coral Long Distance Hurdle last month and is fancied to come out on top again. The trip here won’t take as much getting and that run at Newbury will have blown away the cobwebs for the Henderson runner with it being his first run of the campaign. Miranda getting the mares allowance may prove more of a danger having won a Mares Hurdle over 3m here last time but even getting the 7lb she has to improve half a stone or so in my eyes. Goshen takes a big step-up in trip and is simply to unreliable for me. 

The rising stars of the Chasing game are on show at 1.20 for the Grade One 3m Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase. McFabulous had Thyme Hill behind in the G.2 Coral John Francome Novices' Chase last month and there is no obvious reason to think the placings can be reversed; Thyme Hill is 3lb better off at the weights today but he was well held to my eyes. The bigger danger might come from Gelino Bello who has won his two Novice Chases to date, easily enough last time in a match race but he made hard work of it at Wetherby before that against two opponents you wouldn't even consider here. He'll need to improve again and prove he can do it when under pressure. 

Constitution Hill is already odds-on for the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and takes his next step towards that in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at 1.55. Having won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle last year he has cemented his position at the head of the two-mile hurdles division this season with an easy victory in Newcastle's Grade One Fighting Fifth in November. Long odds-on he is unbackable but will be worth a watch all the same. 

The 3m Ladbrokes King George VI Chase is due off at 2.30 with Bravemansgame and L’Homme Presse heading the market. I am a fan of both but my slight preference is for Bravemansgame winner of the Grade One Kauto Star Novices' Chase (tipped on here) over track and trip last year as I think this is his race whereas L’Homme Presse, as much as connections would like to win this no doubt, is surely all about the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. I tipped the selection at Wetherby last time and you had to be impressed with his win in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase which should have got him cherry ripe for this. L’Homme Presse was equally impressive winning the Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase on his seasonal re-appearance but I just have the feeling this ‘quicker’ three-miles will suit the Paul Nicholls runner better. I was interested to read Bryan Drew, part-owner of Bravemansgame, say in an interview "If he jumps to his normal standard, he'll have a bit in hand versus the others because he jumps so well - hopefully he's got enough petrol to kick on like he did [in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase] last year." Pretty much my thoughts exactly and the man clearly knows what he is talking about.

Best bet for the horse racing at Wolverhampton

The only Flat action of the day is at Wolverhampton on the Tapeta and there is one to be backed there. Their big race is the 6f Top Odds Every Day With BetUK Conditions Stakes and Art Power is fancied to take this. He got beat at short odds up at Newcastle earlier this month over five, I was on, but connections clearly fancy a winter campaign with him and this is his ideal trip. At his best he is too good for this field it’s as simple as that and all being well Tim Easterby has him raring to go.

One to watch at Leopardstown

Out in Ireland one-time Derby hope High Definition is set to make his hurdling debut at Leopardstown. Winner of the G.2 Beresford Stakes at two and a regular in Group company at three and four the son of Galileo reached a peak rating of 119 on the Flat, though he never won another race after his two-year-old campaign. Having moved from Aidan O’Brien to the yard of son Joseph O’Brien it will be fascinating to see how he goes. He runs in the opener the All About Sunday Maiden Hurdle at 12.00 with the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March the ultimate aim. Facile Vega, winner of the two big Bumpers last season, is red-hot jolly at the moment for the Supreme but if that one proves he can jump a hurdle the double-figure prices available for him for Cheltenham at the moment will disappear in a flash. I have taken a big chance and have backed him for the Supreme at 25-1 each-way with Coral.

Happy Christmas, and, as ever, be lucky