Boxing Day is always a highlight for racing fans and this year is no exception.
Stefan Fellows looks ahead to the top TV races on December 26, including the feature race of the day, the King George IV chase.
Meanwhile, he’s also spotted a bet at Wetherby…
13.15 2m4½f (2m4f110y) Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Gbb Race) (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-140)
Mr One More is an interesting runner for the Harry Fry team despite being an 8-year-old he is more lightly raced than most here and is open to plenty of progression still.
He has only had the one start over fences to date which was a promising enough effort over and he should go well if coming on for that experience after a long layoff.
Alnadam was a good winner for the Skelton combination at Sandown on his latest start but an 8lb rise makes things tougher in what is normally a strong race for the grade.
Nicky Henderson has a decent record in this race in the past and runs both Son Of Camas who makes his chase debut and Falco Blitz who will have to need to take a step forward from his chase debut last time to feature.
Hold The Note has more experience than most being a second-season Novice. The Mick Channon runner has been a bit disappointing so far this season but drops back in trip today for the first time and If bouncing back to near his Cheltenham Festival run will be thereabouts.
Selection: Hold The Note (Each Way)
13.50 3m Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (In Memory Of Nigel Clark) (Grade 1) (Gbb Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)
A decent looking Novice Chase as usual.
The Nicky Henderson If The Cap Fits is currently the top-rated in the field but the high-class hurdler has not looked a total natural over the larger obstacles and this will be his toughest task yet.
The Big Breakway was a little disappointing when beaten at 2-9 at Exteter on his latest start but that was a tactical race ran over a trip shorter than ideal and stepping back up to 3 mile a return to form is expected.
His fourth-place finish to Envoi Allen at last season’s Cheltenham festival over hurdles puts him down as the class horse in this race still and he is expecting to bounce back here.
Shan Blue is unbeaten in 2 starts over fences and was most taking last time out when stepping up to this type of trip, he faces tougher opponents today and it will be interesting to find out his level.
The Paul Nicholls trained Enrillo will need to improve again from his victory at Exeter last time but is another unexposed type in the field.
Selection: The Big Breakaway (Next Best)
This looks a straightforward task for the current Champion hurdler Epatante.
The Nicky Henderson trained mare was an easy winner in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on her return and if anything, that run will only have improved her claims here in regards both race sharpness and fitness.
There is little between Ballyandy and Silver Streak on ratings and with them both being consistent types it`s hard to split them.
With that in mind and with her receiving a handy 7lbs from the boys here this could be a good chance for Floressa to take another step forward from her recent success at Newbury and follow her stable mate home.
Selection: Epatante – Floressa (Straight Forecast)
Winner of this race for the last 2 years Clan Des Obeaux set himself up nicely to defend his crown once more with a solid 2nd place finish in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his return this season.
His form at Kempton over this trip is another level to that of what we see him produce elsewhere and it will be no doubt that this will have always been the number one target for this season.
His stablemate Cyrname was a disappointment in this race last season but has since proven his stamina for this type of trip and looks the main danger to the selection.
He was impressive in winning this seasons Charlie Hall chase and comes here under a different preparation this season. Lostintranslation was another to disappoint in this race last season and also needs to bounce back from a poor showing on his seasonal reappearance.
His 3rd place finish in last season’s Gold Cup proves he has the quality to be involved but his overall patchy profile now is a concern for supporters.
The Nicky Henderson team have supplemented Santini for the race this week but he could find things happening a little too quickly for him at a vital stage of the race before staying on late so I`m happy to take on against a couple running under ideal conditions.
Selection: Clan Des Obeaux (NAP)
Canelo looks a progressive chaser this season and a reproduction of his 2nd place finish in a decent handicap at Newbury last time should see him go close off just a 4lb higher mark.
The step up to 3 miles around a sharp course like this should be no issue and he looks open to more improvement than a few of these still.
Windsor Avenue has a chance on his first run at Carlisle but needs to bounce back from his poor showing at Cheltenham and could be a better horse right-handed.
Spiritofthegames is on somewhat away territory having run 5 of his last 6 races all at Cheltenham it will be interesting to see how he gets on but he does not win often enough for me.
Springtown Lake is another who could be interesting with the first time cheekpieces on but does have it to prove over this type of trip.
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