Sunday 26th December 2021
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
A warm welcome to my Boxing Day Preview for 2021, I’m not much for Christmas if truth be told so I’m not going to waste your time with over the top festive comments, but I hope you’ve had a good one. Or at least, I hope it’s been bearable.
So, cracking on with the racing, I’m going to simply just share with you how I’ll be punting on over the next few days. Some of the big races might be missed as I won’t be punting in all of them, but I will be punting in some of the more obscure races of the festive period. So you could get a Wincanton bumper over a Grade 1.
The first race of the festive period for me is the 12.45 at Kempton which is a Class 2 Novices’ Hurdle over two miles. I’m keeping it simple here as I’ve gone with the Nicky Henderson trained Broomfield Burg who’s a short price favourite of around 4/6 under Nico de Boinville. He travelled all over the winner at Cheltenham but didn’t seem to want to go by, which would suggest he has his quirks. Back on a flat track here though should see him very hard to beat as he has miles the best form in this race.
I’m staying at Kempton next for the 2.30 which is the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle over two miles. It’s a more of the same for me here as when it comes to connections as I think Epatante will be too good for them under Nico de Boinville. She posted one of her best efforts to date in this race back in 2019 before following up with a win in the Champion Hurdle, however, since her shock defeat here last year she hasn’t quite looked the same. Last time out she did get back into the Winners Enclosure albeit via a dead heat with Not So Sleepy, I don’t think she’s the force of old but I do think she is considerably better than these, despite being up against Not So Sleepy again. I believe she may well come on for that run at Newcastle which could prove key.
We go over to Ireland now and to Limerick for their 2.40 which is the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase over two miles and three and a half furlongs. I like the chances of Farouk D’alene here for Gordon Elliott and Jordan Gainford who’s currently trading at around the 5/2 mark. He was a Grade 2 winner over hurdles last season and made the perfect start over fences last time out when getting the better of Blue Sari by just under a length. I think Gabynako could prove a tough opponent, but Gordon has been bullish about the chances of his horse, and Farouk D’alene is one that I really took too last season over hurdles.
I think Gabynako could prove a tough opponent, but Gordon has been bullish about the chances of his horse…
It’s the big one for me next which is of course the King George, which takes place at 3:05 at Kempton. In this year’s renewal of the famous Grade 1 chase I’m taking a chance on the spoils going to Ireland by siding with Asterion Forlonge for Willie Mullins, who will be ridden by Gold Cup winning jockey Bryan Cooper. The grey was last seen unseating when travelling ominously well in the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase at Punchestown earlier this month, a race which went on to be won by the very smart Allaho. Many thought he was going to go onto win that particular affair by a considerable margin, which is worth noting as he was up against some very smart rivals that day. Before that though he bolted up off top weight within handicap company at the Punchestown Festival at the back end of last season, where here jumped his rivals into submission. This could well prove to be the key factor again here, as if he gets into a rhythm with his jumping he’s got to be considered a very big player. He currently trades at 7/1 and he’ll be the one for me.
He currently trades at 7/1 and he’ll be the one for me…
The concluding race I’m going to be looking at on Boxing Day is the 3:45 at Wincanton, which is arguably the most prestigious of them all. It’s a bumper, and this can only mean one thing and that it’s a Fergal O’Brien trained horse I’m siding with. If you assumed that, you assumed correctly, as I like Shallow River here at the 5/2 mark who’s the mount of Paddy Brennan. He was bought out Mags Mullins yard and was sent off favourite on stable debut last month where he finished an eye-catching staying on fourth. The form of that race has since been considerably franked with the horse in third going on to win a listed contest. I think it’s highly likely he’ll come on for that effort and go very close here for a yard that farm these races.