Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you have had a really good time and my last blog should have helped you to have Christmas on Paddy.
Five selections resulting in two winners in The Young Master (3/1) and the brave Reve de Sivola (13/2) – as well as three placed runners. You hear me Paddy?
Boxing Day is one of the big racing punting days of the year, and all eyes will be on the big one, the King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Let’s start by looking at the novices’ handicap chase at Kempton at 1.25. The one I like here is GENEROUS RANSOM, who bounced back to his best at Sandown last time for Nick Gifford. The race is full of horses under performing at the moment – but he’s not one of them and can cope with a 3lb rise.
Next up is the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby. Broadway Buffalo will be popular after a facile success at Haydock at the weekend. However, take a chance with the Richard Lee-trained KNOCK A HAND (1.45pm), who stays strong and is on a winnable mark of 139.
Knock a Hand unseated over thie big fences at Aintree last time, but prior to that had run all right at Bangor and will love the conditions. Simply Wings scored for the stable at Lingfield the other day.
The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton brings together some useful youngsters, and if Saphir du Rheu stays he will take some beating as he’s a bit special. I’m sticking with the proven stayer SAUSALITO SUNRISE (2pm) who has come up against the exceptional Kings Palace the last twice at Cheltenham but is talented in his own right for the excellent Philip Hobbs.
Champion Hurdle favourite FAUGHEEN (2.35pm) in the Christmas Hurdle. For me Faugheen is the best hurdler in training, and my advice is back him now for the Champion Hurdle before he destroys this field. Shout out ‘Faugheen the Machine’ when he hacks up!
The day’s feature race – the King George VI Chase has 10 runners and I have no doubt at all that SILVINIACO CONTI (3.10pm) is the one to beat.
Last year’s hero is far from bomb proof but he’s the top-rated in the field and by far the strongest stayer. He was a good winner at Haydock last time and despite being the market leader – I’m a bit surprised he’s not shorter in the betting.
Willie Mullins sends Champagne Fever over from Ireland and he’s open to improvement. But he’s not certain to always put his best foot forward and I’m far far from convinced he’s a true stayer.
David Pipe’s Dynaste would be my each-way alternative to ‘Conti’ if you don’t want to back the fav.
So have a great day’s racing on Boxing Day and I’ll be back to preview Saturday’s action including the Paddy Power Chase. Yeeehaaa!
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