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ITV Racing: Kempton & Wetherby – Mon 26/12/2022

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Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle – Grade 1

An additional G1 to this year’s card following the abandonment of Ascot’s fixture last weekend. Both CHAMP (1) and PAISLEY PARK (4) fought out the finish in a thrilling renewal of the G1 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury upon their return. The former held on grimly for a neck success and both are entitled to respect once more. They may have to play for the placings however behind MIRANDA (5) who is a Paul Nicholls seven-year-old receiving weight from the other two prospects and although will have something to find on the figures could be up to the task following an impressive course and distance success at Listed level last outing. GOSHEN (2) is talented but quirky and may feature if seeing out the trip, you can never rule out the enigmatic GOSHEN


Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase – Grade 1 – 3m

A moderate renewal of this G1 novices chase. Paul Nicholls won this last year with a high-class horse and looks to hold chances once more courtesy of MCFABULOUS (2) and GELINO BELLO (1). The former looks the obvious selection following an assured round of jumping in the G2 John Francome at Newbury last outing while his stablemate may give him most to think about after an impressive wide-margin success at Exeter. THYME HILL (4) is the best of these when hurdling and cannot be ignored wearing first-time cheekpieces. GALIA DES LITEAUX (5) produced a striking display at Bangor-on-Dee making its chase debut and looks a fascinating contender.


Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle – Grade 1 – 2m

CONSTITUTION HILL (1) won the G1 Fighting Fifth at Newcastle. The Nicky Henderson stable star has been all the rage since destroying his rivals in the G1 Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham and can land this with a minimum of fuss. EPATANTE (5) was the 2019 and 2021 winner of this event and commands respect though was readily brushed aside by the aforementioned stablemate and looks booked for second spot. Veteran SCEAU ROYAL (4) may come off third best while METIER (3) is preferred to HIGHWAY ONE O TWO (2) for minor honours.


Ladbrokes King George VI Chase – Grade 1 – 3m

The Boxing Day feature race take place at 2.30. A strong looking renewal of this prestigious G1 chase. L’HOMME PRESSE (7) is the best of these on ratings. Barely put a foot wrong when tackling fences including a winning reappearance at Newcastle last outing this will be a big step up ahead of a potential tilt at the big prize in March the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Paul Nicholls has won five of the past ten renewals and his pair BRAVEMANSGAME (2) and HITMAN (6) could be worth focusing on. The first-mentioned is five from six with fences and is proven over course and distance however the latter easily beat his rivals at Haydock last month and with further progress anticipated up in trip is preferred with a better price likely on offer. ENVOI ALLEN (4) and FRODON (5) are both respected. FRONDON has a stellar record at this track and at a big price should be considered for Each Way supporters.



Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase – Grade 3 – 3m

SHAN BLUE (7) last raced nine months when second in a G3 steeplechase at Aintree following a sixth in the G1 Ryanair Steeplechase at Cheltenham. Has the class to win. INTO OVERDRIVE (12) is an accomplished chaser with impressive recent form. Won two starts back in a steeplechase at this track finishing second in a steeplechase at Newcastle. No surprise to see him thereabouts today, expect him to be super fit and raring to go, he is for sure the one they all have to pass. SOUNDS RUSSIAN (3) found success at Kelso two runs ago then wasn’t too far away managing fourth attempting a steeplechase at Aintree in much higher company, expect him in the mix. CHANTRY HOUSE (2) will be looking to improve after having lost the rider at Aintree. A classy runner with multiple wins at G1 level. One of the leading contenders if he can put it all together on the day.

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