Good morning all,
The sport now takes three days off in the run up to Boxing Day. It’s a case of the calm before the storm as we have some cracking racing to enjoy the next ten days or so. The highlights include; the King George VI Chase at Kempton, The Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and of course four days of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival. More on some of those big races in the Wednesday and Thursday columns.
Inside today’s main piece I have two for the tracker. Plus, I have a selection from Huntingdon. However, let's begin with a quick look at King George VI.
King George field looks strong
Looking at the entries for the King George VI at Kempton, its shaping up to be a cracker of a renewal with a high-class entry:
Clan Des Obeaux
It wasn’t that long ago that Nicky Henderson was saying that Kempton didn’t suit Santini and now he’s supplemented the 8-year-old for the race.
There must be doubt as to whether Monalee will come over from Ireland for the race. The 48-hour travel ban on travel to and from the UK by EU States means that if the King George was being run today both he and jockey Rachel Blackmore wouldn’t be able to travel over for the race. Let’s hope the ban is lifted, as I think he's an ideal sort for the race.
The going at Kempton is being described good to soft, good in places and there’s not a lot of rain forecast between now and Boxing Day. So, it’s beginning to look like the going will be no worse than good to soft on the day.
Looking at the ten-year race trends.
Odds SP: 6/1 & bigger – 1 winner from 52 runners
Wins at Distance: 1+ – 1 winner from 45 runners
It’s paid to look toward those at the front end of the betting and had won over 3m.
That’s 9 winners from 17 runners 53% +19.36 13 placed 76%.
Two for the tracker
Huntsmans Jog – Fergal O’Brien
The 6-year-old has made a good return to hurdling finishing runner-up at Lingfield before going onto win at Exeter at the beginning of the month. Held up in the rear he never really got competitive but was finishing his race off well in the 2m 7 ½ f handicap hurdle that opened Ascot’s Saturday card. He clearly goes well on testing ground and looks capable of winning again off his present mark.
Lord Napier – Peter Bowen
Lord Napier a four-time winner over hurdles including a valuable soft ground 3m handicap hurdle at Sandown in March 2019. He shaped better on his second start over fences at Aintree than he had done on his first and built on that promise when runner-up at Chepstow. The 7-year-old looked a well handicapped horse on his best hurdle form coming into Saturday’s Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock. He helped set a decent enough pace from the off, on heavy ground, and although he ultimately finished a well beaten fifth, he shaped better than his position suggests. He’s only had four starts over fences and maybe found his stamina running out over an extended 3m 1 ½ f on heavy going.
2:05 – Rob The Getaway seemed to put in a much-improved effort when 4th of 6th in a what looked a decent beginners’ chase at Ludlow last month. The runner-up Annsam has won since, so the form looks solid enough. Handicap chase debut for the 7-year-old today, off what looks a workable mark of 108 and he's got each way claims.
Rob The Getaway – 9/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (both paying 4 places 1/5 odds).
Good luck with your Tuesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk