Merry Christmas to you all from Charlie and Myself, we hope we find you all well and in a festive mood. WE would also like to thank you all for your support, from the good days to the not so great to the darn right awful days, that I am sure everyone has had during the last 12 months. We are humbled by the 11,781 views of our blog this year, that is a incredible amount, Thank you all so very much.
With so much going on around Christmas, we thought that we should put out a Final Word early, so that we can all enjoy the few days with our families…. So let’s crack on.
All eyes will be on the King George at Kempton, so it’s only natural that we start at Kempton…. WE have already delivered a King George special for 3 Furlongs Out and it will be published by us, very soon….
Rich – The opener (12.45) is a Class 2 Novice Hurdle, run over 2 miles and features The Cap Fits, who has only suffered ONE defeat and that was to Lalor, at Aintree in the Grade 2 Bumper. Winner of TWO NH Flat races prior to that defeat in April and has won both Hurdle starts to date, including a 2 mile, Class 4 Novice Hurdle at Bangor last time out, when beating Solomon Gold by 3 & 1/4 lengths, Solomon has franked the form by winning last month by 11 lengths. The Milan Gelding does have to give 3Lb away to the field though, but I think he is going the right way and should have enough to take this race.
At 1.55, we have the Kauto Star Novice Chase, which is a Grade 1 Class 1 race, run over 3 miles. Kauto Star’s Trainer was Paul Nicholls, who saddles Black Corton, who by relative terms is still a novice, despite having started in this sphere back in June of this year and has run 8 times to date. Was a runner up last time out, which was only the second time since going chasing, having won the other 6 starts, two of which were at Cheltenham, over 3m. That defeat, came with a drop back in trip to 2m 7f and was only by 3/4’s of length to Elegant Escape at Newbury. Now returned to 3 miles and will be looking to make it 7 wins from 9 runs and land the Kauto trophy for trainer Paul Nicholls.
Charlie – 1.55 Although Rich has gone for Black Corton in this race, my preference is for Ballyoptic although 4 length behind Black Corton last time out at Cheltenham, mainly due to errors in jumping. If getting a clear passage and rectifying errors of previous race, could easily turn the tables here and I fully expect these two to fight it out in a closer finish this time around. I will definitely have a small bet on the Reverse Forecast just as an interest.
3.40 – Dashing Oscar -Has won last two hurdles races over 2m 3f at Fontwell and Bangor when leading from the front, goes up in distance to 2m 5f and in a slightly tougher race, although still looks progressive enough to cope with the challenge, especially as there is more than one front runner in this race, with Nicky Henderson sending Take To Heart who has won twice when being prominently placed from the start. Again I fully expect these two to fight it out in a close finish.
Rich – WE now head over the Irish sea, as Leopardstown and Limerick, both hold NH Meeting’s and we start at Leopardstown, where at 2.20 Footpad, will be contesting a Grade 1 Class 1 Novice Chase over 2miles 1 furlong. Willie Mullins will be hoping that after a very eye catching chase debut, the former Graded hurdler can get the better of Death Duty. Footpad won on chase debut at Navan by 11 lengths in a Class 1 Beginners Chase and showed a nice turn of hoof as well as a fine round of Jumping. Death Duty, is by far the most experienced of the two market leaders and has already landed a Grade 3 before a Grade 1 win last time out, both were won over a slightly further distance, which could be an advantage to Footpad. It would not be a surprise to see these two fighting out the finish.
Charlie – 2.55 Blast of Koeman impressive victory last time out at Leopardstown over 2m when beating Robin Des Mana by 2 and 3/4 length. Looks progressive enough to go well again now entering Handicap Chase territory for first time.
Rich – Over at Limerick, we have an interesting 2m 4f Hurdle at 1.05, which features Discorama, not a name known to many, but Apple’s Jade and Shakira are and Discorama share’s the same sire as the Apples Fillies’ in Sadler Maker. Already a winner over hurdles when beating the well fancied Blow By Blow over 2m 2f last time out, who has since won a Class 1 Maiden Hurdle and should get the better of Ex Patriot, who has been very disappointing so far this season.
Charlie – 1.40 – Shower Cross looks interesting in this race being out of the family of Grand National winner Royal Athlete and being trained by John J Walsh who’s horses tend to do well. Jock claims 5lb and that should make things easier in this race and it could outrun it’s 10-1 price.
Rich – Back over to England we head, or Wolverhampton to be precise for an All Weather meeting….
And despite finishing 7th of 7 last time out Gulliver(2.50) can add to the 3 wins from earlier in the last few weeks. A C/D winner in October at the start of winning the 3 in a row, when landing a 6f handicap here and also landed a 7f handicap in class 2 at Lingfield before finishing last, now drops back to 6f and has an inside draw along with top female jockey Jo Gordon on board. With TWO wins in a Row, Dutiful Son(3.25) is looking to land a Hatrick, having won a 7f Lingfield handicap prior to winning a Class 6 Seller there too. Now back in a Handicap, with Luke Morris on board and able to run from the same mark of 71 but the danger could come from another Hatrick seeker in Rapid Ranger!
Charlie – 1.10 – King Kevin tipped this horse last 3 times and it’s won 2 and placed 2nd in the latest race at Newcastle, I’m keeping the faith again and being a course and distance winner ticks all the right boxes to go in again.
2.50 -Again I’m going against Rich’s selection Gulliver with Intisaab who was a fair 2nd at Kempton last time out to Double Up and could reverse that form in this race and another close finish between those two looks likely.
3.25 – Fire Diamond has won 3 times around here although was a poor 6th last time out at Chelmsford. That run can be forgiven as its more suited to Tapeta nowadays.
That concludes our Boxing Day Final Word… Merry Christmas to you all, thanks for your support and we will see you soon.
Remember to only bet what you can afford, if not just watch the top class racing, with your feet up!
Best Wishes – Charlie & Rich