‘The Steeple Times’ examines the tipsters’ selections and offers a couple of options for Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase 2020 at Kempton
Our betting followers did well on the last day of racing, 23rd December, with four out of four each way tips coming home in the form of 1st for The Tin Miner at 11/2 at Huntingdon, a 3rd for Poldark Cross at 14/5 in the same race, a 1st for Paddys Motorbike at 11/4 and a 2nd for Protected Guest at 13/2 at Lingfield.
Today, it’s time for the highlight of the Christmas racing calendar, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. Inaugurated in 1931 and covering a distance of 3 miles on turf, this Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase is open to horses aged years or older.
Dominated in recent years by Paul Nicholls with eleven wins from 1997 to date with such stars as Silviniaco Conti and Kauto Star, our favoured option in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase 2020 at 3pm has to be his 2018 and 2019 winner, Clan Des Obeaux.
Of the 9/4 favourite in the King George VI (pictured top), which will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, the tipsters are confident (Guardian, Radio 4, Racing Post NAP and ’Spotlight NAP’, The Sun, Telegraph NB, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’).
Racing Post says: “A fine race in prospect. CLAN DES OBEAUX (nap) can land the hat-trick in this race. Particularly well suited by this track and has won the last two runnings of this race.”
Richard Austen adds: “Grade 1 credentials are rather thin elsewhere but he’s reigned supreme in this race for the last two years and a very good second at Haydock last month suggests he may raise his game further back on the track that suits him best.”
The Sun adds: “Looking for three King Georges in a row and loves it here.”
Also in the King George VI, is old old favourite, the Power – Tizzard combo Lostintranslation at 7/1.
Racing Post says: “Close 3rd in the Gold Cup; excuses for high-profile defeats in last 12 months; respected.”
Finally in the King George IV, going for something a bit more punchy at 16/1 from 20/1 earlier, Paul Kealy of the Racing Post suggests Saint Calvados.
Kealy remarks: “If this race was being run over 2m4f he’d probably have only Cyrname ahead of him in the betting. It’s not, but Saint Calvados was improving rapidly last season and he certainly got 2m4f well when just denied by Min in the Ryanair. He’s won first time out every season and can go well at a big price.”
Racing Post adds: “Improved chaser at about 2m4f; off since close 2nd in the Ryanair in March; first 3m run.”
Elsewhere for our Boxing Day bumper today, we’re looking at:
12.40pm Kempton (6 runners)
Skelton double Third Time Lucki at 11/8 (Racing Post ‘Handicappers’ NAP, GG.co.uk, Daily Mail ‘Robin Goodfellow’, Guardian, At The Races ’Top Tip’).
Steve Mason says: “Last season’s Champion Bumper fourth may have lost his unbeaten hurdle record last time, but he was the only horse to make ground on the talented tearaway For Pleasure and he can resume winning ways.”
At The Races remarks: “THIRD TIME LUCKI lost his unbeaten record over timber when runner-up in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham’s November meeting, but he is more than capable of regaining the winning thread with a sounder surface to aid his cause.”
Racing Post adds: “Has leading claims provided this race pans out better than last time.”
1.15pm Kempton (10 runners)
Tom Cannon on William H Bonney at 14/1 (Racing Post ‘Dark Horse’).
Mark Friar says: “Ran well for a long way on his chase debut at Newbury last month and that experience, plus the additional half mile, should bring about plenty of improvement. Alan King’s runner is well handicapped on his best hurdles form and should enjoy ground conditions.”
Racing Post adds: “Five hurdle wins at 2m; pulled up sole attempt at 2m4f; creditable chase debut; needs more.”
Also in the same race, Scudamore – Channon double Hold The Note at 6/1 from 7/1 earlier (The Sun NB).
“The Sun says: “Runs over this trip for the first time since his third at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He has failed to see out three miles this season after travelling well earlier in the races. He is 5lb lower than that Prestbury Park effort as a result and is capable of bouncing back.”
2.05pm Wetherby (8 runners)
The Dutchman at 8/1 from 17/2 earlier (Radio 4).
Racing Post says: “Cruelly denied in Haydock veterans’ chase recently; could do with ultra-testing conditions.”
Also in the same race, Spiritofthegames at 11/2 (GG.co.uk, Guardian).
Racing Post says: “Unraced at 3m but admirably consistent in 2m4f h’caps at stiff Cheltenham on last 4 starts.”
Guardian adds: “This is a better chance than Spiritofthegames usually gets, as he has been repeatedly sent to Cheltenham, and he gets to run off the same mark as when second in the Paddy Power, beaten only by a well-treated rival who got the run of the race.”
Enjoy the King George VI, bet sensibly, and, as ever, happy racing.