No racing until Tuesday … we’ll make do by roasting our chestnuts over an open fire and decking the in-laws with boughs of holly, but we might just have time for a swift big-race double before we get well and truly filled with the Christmas spirit.
At Kempton the King George looks at the mercy of Might Bite. Nicky Henderson’s yard have hit top form, and this fella was all set to saunter home here as a novice last year in a time much faster than the same day’s King George when tumbling at the last.
He has shown some worrying quirks at Cheltenham but been well behaved elsewhere and looks likely to use his mid race aggression to string these out. The last fence is probably his biggest danger!!
Bristol de Mai probably needs heavy ground as a minimum and possibly a relocation to Haydock to bring his strengths into play. Fox Norton should find this first test of his 3m credentials a trip too far in this company, whilst stablemate Thistlecrack was probably overrated when beating some veterans in this event last year and is now the returning veteran against a new younger class. He looks likely to be found out.
A similar scenario looks likely at Leopardstown for their Christmas feature (formerly the Lexus). That Sizing John is odds against looks extraordinary given his winning run of the Irish Gold Cup (here), Cheltenham Gold Cup, Punchestown Gold Cup and John Durkan Chase. He looks every inch the champion and would normally be a prohibitively short price in a race that favours the front of the market.
The price is being propped up by the presence of the massively talented Yorkhill. He has novice hurdle and chase wins at the last two Cheltenham Festivals and could be a superstar. It will though be another entry in the admittedly bulging book of Mullins-Walsh miracles if he is able to triumph here.
Yorkhill is a frequently free-going exhuberant racehorse who could be at his buzziest on his seasonal debut, over a trip longer than he’s ever tried, against a race fit and impressive champion. He looks too short, and by extension, Sizing John looks too long.
Doubling Might Bite and Sizing John makes for a palatable Christmas titbit that can help digest some of the seasonal overspend.
From all at Lap Of The Odds HQ, have a great Christmas and happy punting !!
Recommendation: Might Bite (King George) & Sizing John (Christmas Chase), 2pt win double, approx 11/2
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