The Paul Nicholls’ one-two from last year go head-to-head again with Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname looking to give the Ditcheat trainer another bumper festive payout in the King George VI Chase (15:00 Kempton).
There is little between the pair in terms of the betting, with Clan Des Obeaux a little shorter at 7/4 – and that could turn out to be a good price considering he dotted up in last year’s renewal by 21 lengths.
However, there was an interesting curveball out of Lambourn in the build-up to this race with Gold Cup second Santini surprisingly supplemented.
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Considering his run at Cheltenham last term, the 5/1 Sportsbook price is too big to ignore.
Kempton might not be his track as he is a big horse that stays forever, but the Sunbury circuit is deceptive. Yes, it is flat, but they tend to race quickly and hard, so his stamina could be brought into play. Especially with rain and soft conditions.
He looked very rusty on his comeback run at Aintree, and the final two fences being omitted hardly helped him either, but he can be in the shake-up with the Nicholls’ duo.
Breakaway to leave his rivals snookered
I am expecting a bold show from the very talented The Big Breakaway in one of the earlier races, and he looks a good bet at 5/2 to win the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Kempton 13:50).
He looked a superstar winning on his reappearance at Cheltenham with a dazzling performance of jumping over 3m. He won by 10 lengths on that occasion, with his trainer Colin Tizzard beaming afterwards that he has a huge future ahead of him.
The drop back down to 2m4f at Exeter last time was against him when finishing second, and he can gain Grade 1 honours in his freshman career with a more suitable distance today.
Yorkhill can bring the house down at Wetherby
If racegoers were at Wetherby on Boxing Day, the festive cheers would no doubt be reserved for enigmatic Yorkhill, who finally came back to form last time at Newcastle. It certainly took a while.
He lines up in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Wetherby 14:05) and is 9/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook.
In his prime he was a top-drawer performer for Willie Mullins, but after several sour displays, he was no longer wanted in Closutton.
With a bit of Sandy Thomson love, Yorkhill showed a ton of grit and staying power at Newcastle in the Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Chase to land his first victory in years. He was rated 164 in his prime, so the rise to 147 isn’t too prohibitive.