After a good winner on Saturday I’m on the hunt for some festive cheer in the form of a few carefully selected bets on Boxing Day at Kempton.
As is the norm for this time of year, the weather will play a massive part in deciding who the victors are on Boxing Day. For the purposes of my bets I’m assuming (rightly or wrongly), that the going will be soft as a minimum and possibly a lot worse depending on whether Kempton gets a dry day or two.
The Kempton opener at 12.50pm looks as fascinating as any contest on the card, with the classy DUBAI PRINCE (15/8 Coral) the one I want to be on. I'm hoping that this previous Godolphin runner and one time serious Derby hope handles the ground and can build on his good performance first time out over hurdles. That race came at Leicester where he won comfortably and, as long as his stamina isn’t compromised on heavier ground, he is certainly the one they all have to beat.
At 2.35pm a lot should be learnt from the Christmas hurdle when Champion Hurdle favourite THE NEW ONE (11/10 Stan James) takes on second favourite My Tent Or Yours (5/4 Coral) for the bragging rights ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. The bookmakers are struggling to split the pair at the moment and in all honesty so am I. However, if the ground become testing and stamina is brought to the fore, then The New One’s ability to handle 2m4f well, would be enough to persuade me.
Lastly, we have the highlight of the card – the King George VI Chase. Cue Card (7/2 Coral) is the favourite and at least one pound than all his rivals (according to the handicapper). Despite this, I just cannot see him winning this race. I am yet to be convinced he really stays three miles in a truly run race and his opponents will be aware of his stamina questions and should be out to make sure the pace is hot from the start. Instead, my vote goes to SILVINIACO CONTI (5/1 Coral) who I'm hoping ends up as an each way bet to nothing (i.e. if he finishes in the first three we don’t lose anything). I can tell you that trainer Paul Nicholls insists we are yet to see the best of the seven year old who at home is thought of as a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner just waiting to happen. How he gets on with this flatter track and less emphasis on stamina is an issue, but it may even suit him and he will be the one carrying my cash.
DUBAI PRINCE (WIN) (15/8 Coral)
THE NEW ONE (WIN) (11/10 Stan James)
SILVINIACO CONTI (E/W) (5/1 Coral)
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