Friday, December 23, 2011

A quick Boxing Day selection box

Kempton's King George VI Chase is the Boxing Day highlight with eight declared. Long Run is the top-rated animal; he's never been the one to trust implicitly at the fences but his class has seen him through more often than not. In the Betfair at Haydock he was beaten eight lengths by Kauto Star but put in a couple of howlers down the back straight second time around and should strip fitter here. Today's Times reports that a set of golden plates have been created for Kauto and will be presented to his trainer Paul Nicholls before the race. Master Minded, Captain Chris and Somersby have stamina questions to answer but Diamond Harry will stay on this his first try going right-handed. He was 18 lengths behind in the Betfair but Barry Geraghty takes the ride and looks value at 16/1 provided the eight go to post. Favourites have an excellent record in this race but I'll take an each-way interest in Diamond Harry who won't be inconvenienced by further rain.

Binocular won the Christmas Hurdle last year but the race was mid-January - the horse's record before new year's day of a season isn't particularly encouraging. The yard is bullish but connections were before the Fighting Fifth - I'm not tempted.

Grand Crus has looked impressive over the larger obstacles this season and is fanceid to get the better of Bobs Worth whose jumping wasn't foot-perfect last time at Newbury when just catching Cue Card on the line. The Pipe yard hasn't totally discounted a stab at the Gold Cup with their novice.

Two worth a second look...

Wetherby 1.45 - Neptune Equester
Wincanton 2.15 - Tante Sissi.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all readers a very merry Christmas.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Diamond Harry, a notoriously fragile horse, was withdrawn on the morning of the King George, having been found lame; that scuppered each-way betting opportunities. In the event Kauto Star (3/1) put in an exhibition round of jumping to claim his fifth King George, beating even money favourite Long Run one and a quarter lengths. Long Run's jumping frailties were exposed as the pace picked up on the second circuit.

Binocular (5/4f) held Rock On Ruby (7/4) a neck on the line in the Christmas Hurdle but McCoy's post-race de-brief should be noted - the horse is nowhere near where he was when winning the 2009/10 Champion Hurdle.

Grand Crus (6/5f) took the Feltham in some style and is now generally 2/1 favourite for the RSA Chase. Ladbrokes quote the same horse as low as 8/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Paddy Power amongst the layers offering 12s.

Neptune Equester (17/2) fifth at Wetherby; Tante Sissi (5/2) third at Wincanton.