Boxing Day Magic At Kempton

Bravemansgame has won five of his six chase starts

A strong renewal of the Gr1 King George VI Chase (16h30) run over 3 miles at Kempton today is sure to warm the hearts of the racing public and add to the Christmas cheer as the cold and snowy weather prevails throughout the United Kingdom.

Nine runners contest the traditional Boxing Day feature which is one of four Group 1 features on the card.

Kempton Racecourse (Pic – Facebook – Sky Sports)

With a band of rain expected on Friday, officials at Kempton are expecting the going to ease from the current good to soft description before the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase meeting.

Favourite Bravemansgame has won five of his six chase starts to date for Paul Nicholls and looks the stable elect of three runners from the yard with retained rider Harry Cobden aboard. The seven-year-old, who is a course and distance winner, has been targeted for this Group 1 contest by his champion trainer who has dominated the feature with 12 previous victories.

Bravemansgame has won all his races over fences in style as he travels smoothly in his races and is a slick jumper. His stable companion Frodon will ensure a good pace and he looks the horse to beat at around 2/1.

The Venetia Williams trained L’Homme Presse, recent Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Chase winner is the big threat. The Champion Novice Chaser last season, he is actually rated 6lbs higher on official ratings and will love any more rain that is anticipated to fall.

The rescheduling of the Long Walk Hurdle (14h45) lost to the cold snap at Ascot last Saturday sees a field of 6 go to the extended 3-mile start. Goshen trained by in-form Gary Moore tries this longer trip, but the stable is confident that he will see it out. However, the veterans Champ, for Nicky Henderson and Paisley Park, trained by Emma Lavelle are the highest rated runners and have Group 1 wins over the distance. Champ is the selection to defend his title.

15h20 sees the running of the Gr1 Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over 3 miles in honour of the great horse who won a record five King George V Chases.

The classy Thyme Hill was turned over at a short price at Newbury last month by McFabulous and the Paul Nicholls runner is fancied to go in again. The Skelton’s have two in the race, but jockey bookings are not yet declared. It will be interesting to see what Harry Skelton decides to ride – Ballygrifincottage or Galia Des Liteaux.

A final mention goes to the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (15h55), run over 2 miles. The sport’s newest superstar, Constitution Hill lines up in a field of 10 and will start a very short price as he continues his march to Cheltenham and the Champions Hurdle in March.

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