King George VI Chase:
Whatever happens between 3:05pm and 3:10pm at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, we are sure to be treated to a Christmas cracker of a King George VI Chase. Paul Nicholls putting up two of his star chasers up against the Colin Tizzard charge looking to edge closer to a possible triple crown.
In the last 15 years Nicholls has won the race a staggering eight times, five of which came from superstar Kauto Star, and he bids for back-to-back victories with Clan des Obeaux this year. He’s not had the greatest of times since his famous victory over Thistlecrack last year and will be looking for another big run at the showpiece event.
Cyrname – the highest-rated chaser in racing, the horse that famously ended Altior’s unbeaten record at Ascot in November. His last three runs have seen him obliterate a field by over 21 lengths, beat Waiting Patiently by 17 lengths and do what 87 other rivals failed to do, beat Altior. He’s the form horse and the current bookies favourite (7/4) with Nicholls even uttering his name in the same sentence as the legendary Kauto Star. The only question left to answer is, can he stay over 3 miles?
Lostintranslation is a horse that has come on leaps and bounds, since his gallant defeat to Defi Du Seuil at the Cheltenham Festival he’s gone on to win his next three races beating the likes of Topofthegame and the Haydock specialist Bristol De Mai. His form coming into the race is undoubted and should Colin Tizzard’s charge land the spoils, a tilt at the Triple Crown is on and all roads will inevitably lead to the Gold Cup, to which he currently occupies favouritism.
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Leopardstown Christmas Festival:
The Leopardstown Festival, four days of action packed Grade 1 racing which provides a late Christmas treat for horse racing punters in the UK and Ireland. It’s a showpiece festival where we can expect to see the following showcase their talent:
Klassical Dream, Melon, Min, Samcro, Fakir D’oudaries, Laurina, Cilaos Emery, Chacun Pour Soi, Footpad, Un De Sceaux, Abacadabras, Bacardys, If The Cap Fits, Envoi Allen, Unowhatimeanharry, Apple’s Jade, Benie Des Dieux, Honeysuckle, Battleoverdoyen, Faugheen and Minella Indo just to name a few.
Particular highlights are set to include the Racing Post Novice Chase, Live For Rewards’ Chase, Christmas Hurdle, December Hurdle, Future Champions Novice Hurdle and the Savills Chase where we are sure to get some keen indicators on the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
A lot of questions are expected to be answered in preparation for March, owners and trainers alike will give their clearest indication yet as to where they want their horses to run at Prestbury Park. One of the most eagerly awaited races will be the Rewards Club Chase where Willie Mullins looks set to unleash seven-year-old Chacun Pour Soi in the Rich Ricci colours. A third start for the Mullins stable looks likely in the hope of the perfect prep for the one race Willie would love to add to his already glowing CV, the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
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