ITV Racing Boxing Day Preview
ALL EYES ON KEMPTON ON BOXING DAY FOR THE KING GEORGE! Previews available for all 5 races on the channel. Includes main dangers to our selections.
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ITV Racing Boxing Day Schedule
1.20 Kempton Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3) 2m41/2f
1.55 Kempton Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) 3m
2.10 Wetherby William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) 3m
2.30 Kempton Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) 2m
3.05 Kempton Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) 3m
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This looks like a quality race with some potentially very good chasers in here. DANNY KIRWAN gets the narrow vote after a second on chase debut. That race looks like quality form with the majority of the field winning since. Considering that was his first run of the season after a wind-op and his chase debut you have to think he has a lot to come and runs off the same mark. I would be very surprised if he isn’t bang there at the finish on what could be a huge day for trainer Paul Nicholls.
The narrow favourite at the time of writing is Bothwell Bridge who won nicely on chase debut in what also looks a good race. He has only been raised 5lb for that so should be a threat to all in this. Sebastopol fell last time out but on his previous form could well be overpriced and has a touch of class about him so this looks a deep renewal.
Two of my favourite novice chasers on these shores go head-to-head here and it wasn’t easy splitting them. I just think 3 miles around a speed favouring track is going to play into the hands of BRAVEMANSGAME and he gets the vote to win the battle but the war may well rage on into March. The latter has looked very impressive winning both starts over fences and you get the impression there is more there if called upon. His jumping should win the day and he might always be doing enough.
I have no doubt Ahoy Senor is seriously talented and he looked a relentless galloper winning at Newbury last time but this is a different test and his jumping will be put under major scrutiny. If he can keep tabs then turning in he will be a major danger but I’m not sure I can see him in his comfort zone and the selection may have flown by then.
A highly competitive handicap as you would expect at this level with plenty of these penalised for their previous runs it looks a cracker. EMPIRE STEEL look a nice price after a good comeback run at Haydock last month. He finished second that day and is only up 1lb and I feel he is a fair bit better than his current mark and should be right in the mix.
Good Boy Bobby and Cloudy Glen both ran really well last time out with the latter winning a good race but both have penalties to contend with here so would need to find more than their last runs. Silver Hallmark is the favourite at the time of writing on his first run over 3 miles which is interesting but I can’t have him over the selection.
Epatante ran out an impressive winner of this 2 years ago before going on to reign victorious in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham but has had her issues since. She was reportedly back to her best prior to the Fighting Fifth with trainer Nicky Henderson saying they had ironed out her back issues and she did travel strongly into the race at Newcastle but for me it has to be concerning that she didn’t put it to bed. She was joined on the line by Not So Sleepy and the form does look questionable with Sceau Royal thrashed since. I’ve taken the view that I’m going to oppose her.
Tritonic impressed winning at Ascot last time and has good form here so looks a big danger if building on that but I’m keen to chance SOARING GLORY to bounce back. I still think this horse has tons of potential and I know he is much better than what he showed at Newbury last time. He always looked on the backfoot that day and just didn’t look at the races. If he is back on his game he could definitely surprise these and he strikes me as being overpriced.
Another absolute cracker of a King George with the winners of the last 3 renewals both lining up and I think FRODON can do it again. I thought he would be shorter than the 15/2 quoted at the time of writing but he looks a solid win or even each way bet. He won this and the Oaksey House (Grade 2) at Sandown last season whilst disappointing at Aintree and Cheltenham (Gold Cup). I think he is at his best going right-handed and will take some beating from the front no matter who takes him on based on his Champion Chase win at Down Royal.
Minella Indo is the main danger if back to anywhere near his Gold Cup winning form. He wouldn’t have been fully fit when losing to Frodon fairly comprehensively at Down Royal and should be better here but still has to beat the selection as his target will always be the Gold Cup again. Chantry House will win this in the future but I think this renewal will be a bit early for him with this looking like his toughest race so far over fences despite his easy chase wins so far. Clan Des Obeaux is the favourite at the time of writing but I think Minella Indo will go off favourite on the day as Clan Des Obeaux doesn’t have a the best record fresh and even though he has won it twice before it has to be a big question mark.