Alan Thomson has a fistful of Boxing Day racing tips to KO bookmakers
CLAN DES OBEAUX (3.00) can add his name to an illustrious roll call by landing his third straight King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The traditional Christmas cracker has been the preserve of multiple winners over the years, although Clan Des Obeaux has a bit to go to equal five-time winner Kauto Star, also trained by Paul Nicholls. The market is finding it hard to split the defending champion and stable companion Cyrname, runner-up 12 months ago. Stable jockey Harry Cobden sticks with Cyrname, which again opens the door for Sam Twiston-Davies to grab the headlines.
Nicholls has given Clan Des Obeaux the same prep as last year, and his second to Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock improved on the previous season’s fourth place. Cyrname dispelled lingering doubts about his ability to stay three miles on a left-hand track by landing the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby with something in hand. However, he trailed home a tired horse in last year’s King George and it may be the case that a strongly-run three miles against top-notch opposition stretches him to breaking point.
Lostintranslation never gave his many backers any hope with a dreadful display 12 months ago and will surely do better. Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini may find this test on the sharp side but will strip sharper for his Aintree run three weeks ago.
ALNADAM (1.15) has been raised 8lb following his emphatic Sandown success but remains the one to beat in the novices’ limited handicap chase. Dan Skelton’s gelding fairly powered up the hill and should have the measure of slight class-dropper Hold The Note and JP McManus’ Mr One More.
The Skelton boys can live claims with hat-trick-seeking SHAN BLUE (1.50) in the Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over three miles. The dual Wetherby scorer has a bit to find on official figures with The Cap Fits, so disappointing when unable to get to grips with Pym at Sandown in November, despite receiving 6lb.
The Cap Fits produced a much more polished display on comeback at Ffos Las when whipping useful Fidderonthehoof and is preferred to The Big Breakaway, fourth in a hot renewal of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March but below-par so far this season.
At Wetherby, CANELO (2.05) can give JP McManus another notable scalp by bagging the William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase. The Alan King-trained gelding made a winning return at Aintree before posting an excellent second to Cap Du Nord in a 16-runner handicap at Newbury. A 4lb rise is fair.
The 7f handicap at Wolverhampton looks tailor-made for in-form MISTY GREY (3.30). Tom Dascombe placed him to score comfortably over course and distance at the end of November and Misty Grey returned to the track a fortnight ago, catching Fizzy Feet on the line after being denied a clear run at the furlong pole.
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