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13:20 Kempton

Danny Kirwan could only manage a second placed finish on chase debut, however the form has worked out well with the winner, fourth and fifth all winning next time out. He should come on for both the experience and for the run itself so he looks sure to play a big part as as such is our pick as the most likely winner.

Bothwell Bridge made the perfect start to his chase career, holding off the challenge of a more experienced rival to win by just over three lengths at Sandown earlier in the month, so with the promise of more to come it would be no surprise to see another big run here, while Mister Coffey showed promise on chase debut last time out and could also take another step forwards given he is likely to relish the extra distance he encounters today.


13:55 Kempton

Tea Clipper has won over fences but the form of that race has not worked out well with the second being well beaten again just a few days ago.

This does look like a thrilling match race between Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor. Ahoy Senor does hold a victory over Bravemansgame but trainer Paul Nicholls is very confident he can reverse the form now over fences. While it’s clear that Bravemansgame has improved for the switch to the larger obstacles, so has Ahoy Senor, and that victory last time was so impressive considering he was jumping out to the right, therefore the switch to a right-handed track should help things and I am selecting him to give Lucinda Russell a big winner on Boxing Day!


14:10 Wetherby

Cloudy Glen caused something of an upset when landing the Ladbrokes Trophy (Hennessy in old money) at Newbury last time. Well positioned throughout, his ten pounds penalty for that success looks fair and he has every chance of following up if over those exertions.

Top Ville Ben won this off a four pounds lower mark two years ago, he would have strong claims on numerous pieces of form though he hasn't exactly looked in love with the game lately and whilst he is respected, he is very difficult to suggest with any degree of confidence.

Empire Steel is very lightly raced for a seven-year-old and he showed real promise on his reappearance when finishing second at Haydock, behind a real improver. Entitled to improve for that recent run today, he really ought to go well and looks to have a favourites chance.

Silver Hallmark steps up in trip today having raced at around two and two and a half miles, so far under rules. Very lightly raced and slightly difficult to pin down rating wise, there is every chance this extra yardage will suit (Won his point over this far) and his latest effort at Carlisle when fourth, came in what has proven to be a fairly hot race since.

Lake View Lad has won this before and he showed himself to be in good order when third last time, despite his advancing years, he would be as proven as any in this and is worthy of serious respect. Windsor Avenue and Good Boy Bobby are others worth bearing in mind but with two completely unexposed types set to go, it is very difficult to get away from Empire Steel and Silver Hallmark and with slight preference, the latter is handed the vote.


14:30 Kempton

A fascinating renewal of the Christmas Hurdle which will see Epatante and Not So Sleepy go head to head again after there dead heat in the Fighting Fifth. Strictly the race should revolve around those two aforementioned on figures and the market reflects this. Epatante will no doubt go off favourite and she was very impressive in this race in 2019, but is she still as good as she once was? Whereas I think as we saw in the Fighting Fifth that Not So Sleepy is as good as ever and perhaps he is even improving and I feel he will take a lot of stopping if he does continue on an upward curve.

Away from the top two we have last week’s winner Tritonic who did well to win a Grade 3 handicap and he will no doubt be involved in Grade 1’s for a few years to come but I feel he may well be outclassed in this.


15:05 Kempton

Make no mistake, this is a classic renewal of the King George VI. Asterion Forlonge was cruising when he fell in the John Durkan and is probably the best chance for the Irish, as there’s the chance that Minella Indo might find the flat three miles too short.

Chantry House has been progressive and hasn’t put a hoof wrong over fences. He won’t be deterred by the trip or ground. As much upside as he has, he might just be lacking on the ratings and experience, against such a field. Today might just be a yardstick against the more experienced chasers.

The ever admirable Frodon won this race last year in a bold, front-running display. He made his seasonal debut with a fine show, over the sea, at Down Royal. He stands a very good chance of repeating last years heroics. My only concern would be that he may not have an uncontested lead, like he got last year.

Clan Des Obeaux is a dual winner of this race and was slightly disappointing in the race last year. He’s bounced back to form since, including a demolition job in the Betway Bowl and a gutsy win in the Punchestown Gold Cup. Paul Nicholls seems to have played a blinder by fitting him with cheekpieces and if he can overcome his record fresh, he could give the Ditcheat Maestro a remarkable thirteenth victory in the King George VI Chase.





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