Reigning Supreme returns from a nine month break to make his chase debut but is likely to have been well schooled by trainer Nicky Henderson and with both trainer and jockey in excellent recent form and boasting impressive strike rates at the course he could offer a bit of value against the expected market principles.
Mister Whitaker has gone up 7lbs for a two-length victory last time out but could improve past this mark considering he has only had two races over the larger obstacles and has Adrian Heskin in the saddle, a jockey with a 30% winning strike rate in the last three years over fences at Kempton.
Wenyerreadyfreddie is another runner for Nicky Henderson and Touch Kick is also improving over fences but for me the race should be between Reigning Supreme and Mister Whitaker, with slight preference for the former.
REIGNING SUPREME (WIN)
A really interesting race as Elegant Escape was second to Mia’s Storm and second to Ballyoptic before breaking Black Corton’s five run winning streak last time out. He will likely run another strong race but the switch of jockey to Tom O’Brien is a worry considering his poor recent record and his strike rate at the course.
Black Corton and Bryony Frost have built up an excellent partnership this season and didn’t go down without a fight last time out. It would be a surprise if they weren’t in the mix at the business end of the race, however for my selection I’m going for Mia’s Storm who has now won her last three, is unbeaten over a three-mile trip, was a convincing thirteen-length winner at Listed level when last seen and with only two previous runs over fences is capable of further improvement.
MIA'S STORM (WIN) - NAP
With Dan Skelton in such good form and boasting a 47% winning strike rate over fences at the course it would be foolish to overlook his runner Get On The Yager. Despite a couple of jumping errors he kept on strongly to win well last time out and with conditions again expected to suit he looks a live danger
Aloomomo hasn’t won since notching up a hat-trick in 2015 but all these victories came over fences and he has had a couple of runs over hurdles in the last couple of months to ensure he is race-fit for today so isn’t dismissed lightly.
Delusionofgrandeur put in a fantastic round of jumping and stayed on well to win by almost five lengths last time out and won over course and distance earlier in the year. He has won 40% of all races over fences, all on good-to-soft or soft ground and all over trips of around three miles so looks capable of another big run here and as such is my selection for the race.
Last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air has won seven from eight over hurdles, with the 2016 Supreme (won by Altior) the only blot on his copy book. By far the best horse in the race, a clear round of jumping should see him in the winners enclosure once again, yet at the odds he isn’t a betting prospect.
The New One finished a couple of lengths ahead of Old Guard at Cheltenham two weeks back and looks the most likely to chase home the favourite, while Chesterfield has an excellent record over the trip and beat Mohaayed in the Scottish Champion Hurdle last season but will need to improve on his re-appearance run to get involved here.
THE NEW ONE (E/W)
Might Bite is many peoples idea of a future Gold Cup winner and, arriving here on the back of five straight chase victories it isn’t difficult to see why he is favourite for todays’ race. That said, his price doesn’t give much value considering the quality of opposition.
Thistlecrack and Whisper are both top class performers but Thistlecrack will need to improve on his seasonal bow and Whisper has already been beaten twice by Might Bite so looks likely to be battling for minor honours again today.
Bristol De Mai has put in two excellent performances this season, winning the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and following up with the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock. The Charlie Hall Chase in-particular looks decent form with both Blaklion (2nd) and Definitly Red (3rd) winning since, and on this basis is my selection today.
BRISTOL DE MAI (WIN)
written by Dean Kilbryde
BOXING DAY BONANZA
Our whole team preview every single race today.
See who we’re backing for each meeting below.
12:10 – BURGAS (WIN) 12:40 – MOONLONE LANE (E/W) 13:10 – SIZING COAL (WIN) 13:45 – FRANKIEFIVEANGELS (E/W) 14:15 – JUDGEMENT DAY (WIN) 14:50 – IN OUR BLOOD (E/W) 15:25 – LILYS GEM (E/W) by Rory Paddock
12:20 – WILLSHEBETRYING (WIN) 12:50 – OXFORD BLU (WIN) 13:25 – JERSEY BEAN (WIN) 14:00 – BREDON HILL LAD (WIN) 14:35 – KNOCKNANUSS (WIN) 15:10 – GORING ONE (WIN) 15:45 – UNDISPUTED (E/W) by Chris Connolly
11:40 – MISS MAYFAIR (E/W) 12:10 – EY UP ROCKY (E/W) 12:40 – PANDY WELLS (E/W) 13:15 – SNEAKING BUDGE (WIN) 13:50 – AS YOU LIKE (WIN) 14:25 – OUTOFTHISWORLD (WIN) 15:00 – BECAUSESHESAIDSO (WIN) 15:35 – PERSONAL COACH (WIN) by Chris Connolly
12:45 – IF THE CAP FITS (WIN) 13:20 – 15:05 (TV TIPS ABOVE) 15:40 – KIDISART (WIN) by Dean Kilbryde
12:15 – DEBUCHET (WIN) 12:45 – QUICK GRABIM (E/W) 13:15 – ESPOIR D’ALLEN (WIN) 13:50 – SEAWEED (E/W) 14:20 – FOOTPAD (WIN) 14:55 – BOBBIES DIAMOND (E/W) 15:30 – BLACKBOW (WIN) by Rory Paddock
12:35 – STAR MAKER (WIN) 13:05 – DISCORAMA (E/W) 13:40 – ANGELS ON FIRE (E/W) 14:10 – AL BOUM PHOTO (WIN) 14:45 – PATS OSCAR (E/W) 15:20 – TONGIE (E/W) 15:55 – CASTAFIORE PARK (E/W) by Rory Paddock
12:05 – CLIFFSIDE PARK (WIN) 12:35 – ASHKOUL (WIN) 13:10 – KEEL HAUL (WIN) 13:45 – GENERAL MAHLER (E/W) 14:15 – EMERALD ROSE (E/W) 14:50 – MISS FLEMING (WIN) 15:25 – SEE THE ROCK (WIN) by Chris Connolly
11:55 – OR DE VASSY (WIN) 12:25 – DUHALLOWCOUNTRY (E/W) 13:00 – ROCKALZARO (WIN) 13:35 – OCTAGON (WIN) 14:05 – OSCAR O’SCAR (E/W) 14:40 – ANGE DES MALBERAUX (E/W) 15:15 – SAMMAMISH (E/W) by Rory Paddock
12:00 – COCKLEY BECK (WIN) 12:30 – MOORLANDS MIST (WIN) 13:05 – NEMEAN LION (E/W) 13:40 – GREY GOLD (WIN) 14:10 – (TV TIPS ABOVE) 14:45 – RYEDALE RACER (WIN) 15:20 – ROYAL BEEKEEPER (WIN) by Dean Kilbryde
12:25 – BLUE BULLET (WIN) 12:55 – IF YOU SAY RUN (WIN) 13:30 – POKER PLAY (WIN) 14:05 – DANCE FLOOR KING (E/W) 14:40 – BISHOPS COURT (WIN) 15:15 – THEATRE TERRITORY (WIN) 15:50 – RINGA DING DING (WIN) by Chris Connolly
12:05 – ROYAL PURSUIT (E/W) 12:40 – JELLMOOD (WIN) 13:10 – MIO RAGAZZO (E/W) 13:45 – BORN TO BE ALIVE (E/W) 14:15 – BELABOUR (WIN) 14:50 – DOUBLE UP (WIN) 15:25 – RAPID RANGER (WIN) 16:00 – SMUGGLERS CREEK (WIN) by Rory Paddock