I am going up nice and early as it is the season of goodwill and all that with the bets for the weekend. With no racing for a couple of days and Triple G Towers stuck in Tier 4 aint like there is much else to do!
The first race of interest to me on Boxing Day is the Grade One 3m Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase at 1.50 at Kempton. Shan Blue will be jolly off the back of a couple of wins and the form of his last win at Wetherby has been franked with the second Snow Leopardess winning a decent handicap at Haydock last month but I am taking him on. I put up The Big Breakaway in the G.1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, he finished fourth, Shan Blue was sixth in the race, and it has to be said the Colin Tizzard trained five-year-old was always likely to be a better Chaser to my eye. Having duly won on Chase debut at Cheltenham in November in pleasing fashion, he was beaten last time at Exeter outpaced after the last but he was giving the winner 8lb. I think the five-year-old chestnut is a potential top-class stayer in the making and can take this. 5-2 is about and I have it.
Next on the card is the Grade One Christmas Hurdle which should be little more than a public gallop for Epatante and he is priced accordingly so I shall watch rather than punt. 6-4 best for the Champion Hurdle in March already, I had 7-2 about her last year, the mare will go shorter still if winning this as she should.
The big one on Boxing Day is of course the Grade One Ladbrokes King George VI Chase over three-mile. I backed Clan Des Obeaux to take the crown again at 2-1 earlier this week – the post can be read here: http://www.girdysgeegees.com/blog/the-horse-racing-week-ahead-and-the-ante-post-punt-for-the-king-ge...
It’s a decent card again on the Sunday with last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Shishkin bidding to make it two from two over fences in the two-mile Grade Two Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at 1.20. I am a fan, backed him at 5-2 at the Festival, but he will be long odds-on for this. He is short enough for the Arkle already, 5-4, and will likely go odds-on after, I would expect, winning this. It’s a big day for trainer Nicky Henderson as once his Arkle hope for the Festival next year has run his returning Champ and big Champion Chase hope Altior is due to appear in the Grade Two two-mile Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase. It's another race to watch rather than punt in as unsurprisingly Altior is also odds-on. At the time of writing, he is about 6-1 for the Champion at the Festival and if he shows his old sparkle Sunday that price will disappear pretty quick.
So, with the prices skinnier than Kate Moss on laxatives for their respective races this weekend, and with one eye already on Cheltenham, the bets for the Henderson trio are actually to grab the prices about them for March before they all win this weekend, fingers crossed, and the prices shrink like Katie's knickers in a boil wash! I have bet ante-post:
Epatante Champion Hurdle 6-4
Shishkin Arkle 5-4
Altior Champion Chase 6-1Be lucky