ITV Racing Tips and Preview

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We look ahead to all the ITV live action on Boxing Day, which includes the Grade 1 King George VI Chase.

Kempton Racecourse

Sunday

Kempton Park

1:20

One of the best days in the racing calendar is here and we have an excellent card to get stuck in to at Kempton. We start off with a Novices’ Handicap Chase and Nicky Henderson has the market leader Bothwell Bridge. His jumping last time out at Sandown was spectacular and it won him the race. If he can repeat that round of jumping again, he could have this field in trouble turning for home.

Danny Kirwan has always been a horse Paul Nicholls has held in high regard, but he never really reached his full potential over hurdles, so he will be hoping he can over fences. His chase debut was promising, but more will be needed to win this. Mister Coffey’s effort at Newbury last time out was very encouraging and he was also well-backed that day. He is sure to have come on for that run and I think he will give his stablemate Bothwell Bridge most to think about.  

Selection – Bothwell Bridge – 11/4

1:55

The Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase looks an absolute cracker between Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor. Bravemansgame has been very impressive in both starts this season and sets a high standard. Ahoy Senor bolted up by 31 lengths last time out at Newbury in a Grade 2, so he is hard to overlook, but I’m going to stick with the champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, who I think could have a really good Boxing Day.

Selection – Bravemansgame – 4/5

2:30

Nico de Boinville has picked up the ride plum ride on Epatante due to Aidan Coleman’s ban and he has an excellent chance of winning Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle. Epatante dead-heated in a thriller at Newcastle last time out in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth. She jumped a lot better and is going to be very hard to beat today. Not So Sleepy was the horse she dead-heated with at Newcastle, but I’m not sure she will back that run up here at Kempton. Tritonic won a Grade 3 in great style last weekend at Ascot and he will be ridden to pick up the pieces late on, if the top 2 take each other on too early.

Selection – Epatante – 10/11

3:05

The biggest race of the day on Boxing Day is the King George VI Chase and we’re in for a fantastic renewal of the big race. Clan Des Obeaux has been the favourite all season since his trainer Paul Nicholls came out and said he would be trained for this race. He has already won it twice and last year he was third. His jumping let him down last year, plus he also let his stablemate Frodon get in to a great rhythm in front and he could not be caught.

Frodon is back again to defend his crown and his partner in crime Bryony Frost will be on board. We know they will go hard from the front and say ‘catch me if you can to the rest of the field’. We also have the star of the moment in Rachael Blackmore over to ride last seasons Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Minella Indo. The pair were beaten last time out by Frodon at Down Royal, but Minella Indo would have come on tons for that run.

Chantry House is another that we can’t rule out, he bolted up at Aintree at the end of last season in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase and got off the perfect start this season at Sandown by beating The Big Breakaway in a match race at Sandown. This will be the toughest race he has contested, but he has a good shout. I’m going to stick with Clan Des Obeaux and hope he can make it a hat-trick of wins in the race.  

Selection –Clan Des Obeaux – 3/1

Wetherby

2:10

The one race we have away from Kempton Park live on ITV is the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase and the lightly race Silver Hallmark heads the field. He is up in distance today, so the trip is an unknown, but if he does stay it well, he could be well in on today’s terms. I’m going to side with Cloudy Glen who was really impressive in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last time out and he is a guaranteed stayer.

Selection – Cloudy Glen – 6/1

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