ITV Racing Boxing Day Preview
BOXING DAY IS ALWAYS BRILLIANT RACING and ITV have live coverage from Kempton and Wetherby. With Grade 1 action from Leopardstown and Limerick in Ireland we have included them in our previews too.
Make sure you scroll right down to the bottom to see any multiples we are placing. These can be added direct to your bet365 bet slip.
ITV Racing Boxing Day Schedule
1.15 Kempton Ladbrokes Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase Class 3 2m41/2f
1.50 Kempton Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) Class 1 3m
2.05 Wetherby William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Class 1 3m
2.25 Kempton Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) Class 1 2m
3.00 Kempton Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (Grade 1) Class 1 3m
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Leopardstown 1.05 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m
Aspire Tower ran out a most impressive winner of this last year so it usually throws up a horse for the future and ZANAHIYR looks just that in this years renewal for Gordon Elliott. This son of Nathaniel made it 2-2 in the Bar One Racing Price Boost Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse last month, staying on strongly. He is improving fast and looks hard to stop as he bids to land the hat-trick. He looks to have serious gears and however this is run he should prove too good for them.
Saint Sam trailed the selection by 14 lengths last time and has it all to do to close that gap. Autumn Evening might be better value to chase the favourite home as he showed a good attitude to make a winning start over hurdles at Cork and looks a bit overpriced at double figures.
Kempton 1.15 Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Class 3 2m41/2f
This Novice chase does look fairly competitive with the majority of the protagonists within a few pounds of each other in the handicap. Whilst they all could improve with experience over fences I think ALNADAM has really stepped forward since going chasing and could be better than a mark of 137. He won well in the end at Sandown by over 6 lengths, he just kept finding. His form of his first 2 runs over fences does look solid and if improving again he should go close in this even with the 8lb rise from the handicapper.
There are a few dangers such as Hold The Note who ran at the Festival at this trip off a 5lb higher mark but I think Mr One More could be the one to put it up to the selection as he is so lightly raced and will come on for the run at Chepstow where he was second to Antunes.
Kempton 1.50 Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (In Memory Of Nigel Clark) (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Class 1 3m
Shan Blue has been foot-perfect so far over fences winning by 14 lengths on chase debut at Wetherby before following up by 16 lengths up to this trip last time. Neither of those races look overly strong form though and while he is a promising horse I think he’s opposable at the odds and I’m going to chance THE BIG BREAKAWAY to bounce back back up to 3 miles. Given how he shaped when winning at Cheltenham it was a strange move to drop him in trip and while it was surprising to see him beaten at Exeter in hindsight it wasn’t as bad as it looked. He just got tapped for toe and will be much more in his comfort zone here. He is definitely the value play.
If The Cap Fits thrashed the opposition on chase debut at Ffos Las but was put in his place by Pym at Sandown and this will test him again. He can run well but I’ll be surprised if he wins. The same comments apply to Enrilo who is a smart horse himself but again needs more to challenge the principals.
Wetherby 2.05 William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Class 1 3m
A race which 7 and 8 year olds have dominated over the years and SPIRITOFTHEGAMES has a fair chance of extending that trend. He does carry top weight but the last 2 winners have been near the head of the weights so that isn’t a worry. Dan Skelton steps him up to 3 miles for the first time since he won his point-to-point. He has been running well at the shorter 2 mile 4 furlongs but at some testing tracks so I see no reason why he won’t see this trip out. He is the classy horse in this race and I expect a big run from him at nice odds.
Wandrin Star looks the main danger but was passed over for the selection as he looked much improved after a wind-op at Ascot and will likely improve again but the form of the race hasn’t worked out at all. Snow Leopardess at the bottom of the weights is ultra-consistent and could fill the places for Charlie Longsdon.
Kempton 2.25 Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Class 1 2m
I backed Silver Streak to beat Verdana Blue over C&D and I was really impressed with that performance. He was then carried out in the Fighting Fifth and looked unlucky not to gain compensation in the International last time, beaten just a nose on the line. He comes here a happy horse and I do expect him to run a big race but all that being said I can’t get away from EPATANTE. She has looked a mare at the top of her game and quickened up on the bridle to beat Sceau Royal in the Fighting Fifth last time. She should repeat that here and if she does she will be away and gone under Aidan Coleman.
Ballyandy continues to run well and is a tough and honest sort who should give his running. He will be there fighting at the end but lacks the class of the favourite and was a place behind Silver Streak last time. Floressa has done well for connections and sprung a surprise at Newbury but needs plenty more. Diego Du Charmil looks out his depth.
Limerick 2.35 Matchbook Betting Exchange Faugheen Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m31/2f
A race Mullins and Elliott have dominated over the years and they look to have it between them again with 4 of the 5 runners. Of their runners ASTERION FORLONGE looks the standout. He only has 1 loss on his record and that was in the Supreme at Cheltenham and I think he will make a better chaser at this trip and maybe even further. His chase debut has worked out really well with the 2nd Conflated romping to a win at Navan next time out plus plenty of the other runners have placed since. He should come on for the run and take all the beating in this.
All the rest have fair chances and even though they have a bit to find with the selection Janidil and Pencilfulloflead will be the ones to chase him home.
Kempton 3.00 Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Class 1 3m
This race has given us some great memories over the years. Loyal GYTO followers will remember Silviniaco Conti trotting home in 2014 to bring us home a Lucky 15 full house. We’ve seen some brilliant winners of the race since with the likes of Cue Card, Thistlecrack and Might Bite putting their names in the history books. It looks a cracking renewal this year and it’s interesting Nicholls’ sends four runners as he bids to win it for a 12th time.
It’s refreshing to see two horses from the same stable go at it for one of racings’ most prestigious prizes. Clan Des Obeaux has won it for the last two years and he looks sure to run his race again but things rather played into his hands last year with Lostintranslation making a bad mistake and proving unable to recover and Cyrname running no sort of race, possibly leaving his best form at Ascot when conquering the legend that is Altior. The latter has very much got back on track since putting in a classy display to win the Charlie Hall on return at Wetherby. He proved he stays this trip on that occasion and comes here a much fresher horse. He is still hugely exciting for me and as a result CYRNAME has to be our selection.
It will be interesting to see who leads but the selection is versatile. I don’t expect Cobden to have him far away as he comes here at the top of his game and I think he’ll be trying to fill him with confidence rather than have him too far back. Nicky Henderson has supplemented Santini for the race. The Gold Cup second is certainly not forgotten in here but I do think it’s a big ask and I know he’s notoriously hard to get fit. He will come on plenty from Aintree but needs a lot more to challenge the top two in the betting for me and I’m happy to pass him over. Lostintranslation will be hoping to jump better than he did last year but again I’m not sure this sort of test suits him and he might struggle to race within his comfort zone.
Kempton 3.35 Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Hurdle Class 3 2m5f
Not a great race to cap off a great day at Kempton but it does offer plenty of value with most of the prices on offer decent each-way options. WHATSUPWITHYOU is 9/1 at the time of writing and should have a good chance of going one better than his 2nd place at Cheltenham last time. He was 4 lengths clear at the last but was caught late by Stimulating Song but still finished clear of the rest. He is lightly race and should improve again so makes for a good each-way bet.
Nicholls and Henderson obviously have plenty of the dangers in the race but I actually think PUSH THE TEMPO at a bigger price could run a big race and put it up to the selection and might even be worth an each way saver.
ITV Racing Each Way Trixie
With 5 races live on ITV on Boxing Day we’ve picked out our three most confident selections and combined them to make an Each Way Trixie.
Boxing Day Preview Treble
Here are our three strongest bets from our Boxing Day previews combined to try and maximise profit. Not to be missed!