Hello & Welcome to the Arseonlineracing Boxing Day Blog… Yes as per our values, this website & podcast are 100% independent with absolutely NO affiliate links….
As usual all eyes will be on the King George at Kempton Park, with the rearranged Long Walk Hurdle, not to mention the vast amount of racing that is available on this Festive day, so if your all fed & watered, we shall begin….
4 of us take on Boxing Day… So here we go…
1.35 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase
Sounds Russian is one of the more unexposed runners here, developing into a more than useful staying chaser. He comfortably landed the Edinburgh Gin handicap at Kelso in October over the extended 3 miles, before a creditable 4th behind Noble Yeats in the Many Clouds last time out. Running off 7lbs higher than his Kelso win, he could well have more to offer off this mark and is capable of a bold show in this typically competitive handicap.
2.30 King George VI chase
A fantastic renewal of this race, I immediately thought back to Bravemansgame’s demolition here in the Kauto Star a year ago. He seemed to thrive over this test and it’s no surprise that connections have bookmarked this race ever since. He was almost faultless when landing the Charlie Hall Chase on reappearance, with a similar performance today making him the one to beat. The Paul Nicholls yard look to win yet another big Boxing Day pot here and their charge should be bang there at the business end.
1:45 – Careers@dornangroup.com Novice Handicap Hurdle
A very competitive Novice Handicap Hurdle to enjoy at the South Dublin course as a field of 18 go to post. There are quite a few to consider and I think Itwasfate is a solid enough each way selection as he has been crying out for nicer ground. Heavy ground has blunted his chances in his last two races when it looked like he did hold a good chance of winning, especially when travelling well at Gowran Park last time out before running out of steam in the last 100yds. With good to yielding ground looking certain he gets his ground today. There is more to come from Itwasfate as he is still lightly raced and off 11-6 I think a big run is on the cards. The De Bromhead stable are operating at 16% at the moment. The signs are positive and with a bit of luck in running I think he’ll be in the mix after that the last.
*Each way advised*
Down Royal –
2:33 – Hunters Chase (5yo+)
Selection: The Storyteller
The highlight of Down Royal’s Boxing day card is an interesting looking Hunters Chase full of old favourites such as Snow Falcon, The Storyteller & Brain Power With his previous Grade 1 winning form over C+D I strongly fancy The Storyteller to come out on top once again. Gordon Elliott’s charge has been in excellent form of late since being switched to the point to point scene, winning all his three races so far in that sphere. This is a step up in class from his recent form and the ground is perhaps slightly on the tight side for my selection but on his day he is still the class act in this field. Vaucelet is a worthy favourite and will be a tough nut to crack, while defending champion Dorking Cock may be a solid each way selection.
1.20 Kempton, Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 3m, G1.
Only five go to post for this contest over the same course and distance as the King George and it looks more than likely that the prize will be heading down to the man whose probably paid for many a people’s Christmas over the year, Paul Nicholls.
Of the two he saddles i quite like the stable second string Gelino Bello to go and do the business.
So far his two chase starts have both been wins, admittedly his Wetherby win was helped by an opponent throwing the jockey off at the start but his Exeter win he had to dig in a bit and work for it which can help a lot around Kempton as they get to the business end, he’s a horse i like a lot and hopefully can give punters a wonderful Christmas time.
1.35 Wetherby, Rowland Meryck Handicap Chase, 3m.
A very tricky race to work out on paper with plenty holding good chances on their best form, a mix of wise old heads and young pretenders to the throne, a bit like the Royal Family.
One who catches the eye for me and will appreciate the track is the Nicky Henderson trained Chantry House who lines up with Robbie Dunne in the saddle.
Just over three weeks ago he lined up for the G2 Many Clouds Chase at Aintree and got no further than the fourth before getting rid of his jockey from where he had a little spin on his own and even schooled himself over a few Grand National fences in the process, at the moment he tends to win a rice before or after running a duff one so on that method he should be a shoe in for this, should things go to plan then he could be Aintree bound in the spring giving owner JP McManus a most wonderful time of the year.
2.30 Kempton, King George VI Chase, 3m.
The traditional Christmas classic comes around once again with what looks like the sort of renewal that all the letters to Santa have brought to the many thousands who will decend upon Kempton.
You literally could make a case for every runner in this and i fully expect the pace to be strong from the outset with no quarter given, Bryony will no doubt go flying off with Frodon from the start doing the sort of speed you expect Rudolph to achieve before he goes all E.T. and flies into the air!
My selection though will be Envoi Allen for Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.
For a start he has more experience in open age company than current favourite Bravemansgame and while he is a horse i do like you just know he is their to be got at by the others, Envoi Allen certainly appreciated the step up to three miles at Down Royal on his seasonal debut and given the way that the Gold Cup can leave it’s mark you’d imagine they are thinking of him as a potential Gold Cup horse if A Plus Tard struggles again like he did at Haydock in the Betfair last month.
Also it’s one of those stories that’s made in the stars and nobody in racing would begrudge the De Bromhead’s a win in this after what has been a rough few months for them with the loss of son Jack.
Hopefully the flight back from Heathrow on Monday will have Rachael and Henry walking in the air after going on the ultimate sleigh ride around Kempton.
2.10 – Handicap Hurdle – Class 3 – 4yo+ – 2m 5f 56yds…
Thanksforyourhelp – Martaline X Agathe Du Berlais – 5yo gelding.
Although yet to win over hurdle, the gelding has placed on all 4 of his hurdle starts. He was only beaten 2 & 1/2 lengths on his last start back in April, when finishing 2nd in the Punchestown 2m 3f 110yds Series Final Handicap Series to Life In The Park. Up in trip on season return – WIN.
2.38 – Handicap Hurdle – Class 4 – 3yo+ – 1m 7f 56yds…
First Quest – First Defence X Dixie Quest – 8yo gelding.
C&D winner from October 2021, running from a mark of 110 & has started this term running over 2m 4f before being gradually dropped back in trip, with his last 2 runs yielding a 3rd & 2nd place finishes, the last run, on November 7th, was at Kempton over 2m in a Class 4 Conditional Handicap Hurdle. He runs from 108n today &b with 16 runners offers nice EACH WAY value, dropping back in trip….
Thanks for popping by & may we wish you all a very, merry Christmas & we thank you all for your support throughout the year. Remember, this blog is for all year round, not just for Christmas
Merry Christmas to you all & good Luck – The AOLR Team