Big race form guide
King George Vl Stakes – Kempton 3.10
There seems to be growing support for Kauto Star over the last few days – how much of this is sentiment is hard to say. Course and distance obviously suit him as he is going for a record breaking 5th win in the race and there is no doubt that Kauto at his very best would be extremely hard to beat. However he is approaching his “official” 12th birthday and age catches up with all of us (I should know!). He was spot on at Haydock but it would be some feat to match that display only 37 days later. Long Run is no certainty, his occasional jumping lapses ensure that but he must be the most likely winner. Master Minded (pictured below) is a threat if he stays. He has won his last 7 races going right handed. He has never raced over this trip before though and although Kempton is an easy 3 miles I would be inclined to avoid him.
Captain Chris is the dark horse in the field. His record at Kempton is excellent, the ground (he wouldn’t want it too soft) may be in his favour and he certainly has the talent. He looked a little unlucky when unseating at Exeter and if he stays he could go well.
Long Run has to be the selection though.
1.25 Trafalgar Road beat Loch Ba by a neck at Sandown at the start of the month and the pair are among the main fancies here. I think they will both run well again.
2.00 What a race in prospect! Grands Crus, runner up to Big Bucks in the World Hurdle is going for a hat trick over fences. Bob’s Worth, a Cheltenham Festival winner over hurdles won on his chase debut at Newbury besting Cue Card. Silviniaco Conti won a Grade 2 at Wincanton on his last start while Teaforthree was runner up at Cheltenham last month and then went on to win at Chepstow. The form of both races has worked out really well.
Grands Crus is my selection, although he is yet to win going right handed. Bobs Worth looks a big threat.
2.35 I see that the newspaper tipsters are torn between Overturn, Binocular (pictured below) and Rock on Ruby, with each horse selected by 5 of the experts.
Binocular is a bit in and out but he is 2 out of 3 at Kempton. The ground is likely to be in his favour but he is rather a short price given his inconsistent record. Overturn has been very busy already this season and I prefer the lightly raced Rock on Ruby. The form of his win at Cheltenham was endorsed by the 3rf horse Raya Star who won the Ladbroke last week.
3.10 See big race form guide.
3.40 Hildisvini, Panxtoa and Knight Pass are on my short list. All look interesting for different reasons. Hildisvini has dropped 5 lbs in the weights which should make him more competitive. Panxtoa is consistent and the form of his last race has worked out well. Knight Pass is a potential improver and just gets the nod.
1.30 Kindly Note runs in the colours of the Elite Racing Club. Her stable are in form and the ground is likely to suit.
12.35 Realmont has been plagued by illness and injury and has been off the track since May 2009. He was top class in France though, twice running Long Run close.
2.15 Saint Luke a triple bumper winner has not lived up tom expectations this season over hurdles. He may yet come good though and is slipping down the the weights.
Christmas turf trivia
Mr Blaketon, who runs in the Ffos Las 3.55 is quite cleverly named being by Oscar out of a Supreme Leader mare. You would need to be a fan of the Heartbeat series to appreciate this one!
12.15 Chepstow winner Big Occasion should follow up here. Godsmejudge and Rich Buddy are others to consider.
1.20 Course winner General Ting will handle the ground and is on a winnable mark.
3.00 Call me a Star and Cherry Lady were first and second at Wetherby and pulled well clear of the rest of the field. I fancy Call me a Star to confirm the form.
1.00 Accordingtolawrence has yet to complete over fences but he is better than that and is worth another chance.
1.20 Course and distance winner Halucha has only been raised 4 lbs for his win at Ludlow.
2.15 Swincombe Flame and Tante Sissi are my two against the field. Slight preference is for Exeter winner Swincombe Flame.
3.20 The lightly raced Rangitoto has considerable potential over fences and can win this at the expense of Trenchant.
1.45 A case can be made for a number of these. Midnight Chase travels up from the west country. He was 5th in the Gold Cup and has to be respected. Knockara Beau finished strongly to take the runners up spot at Cheltenham recently while Neptune Equester, a course and distance winner, is a thorough stayer who will benefit if the ground dries out. I like the chances of the progressive Always Right. Third in the Scottish National in April he won at Kelso on his seasonal reappearance.
12.30 This looks very competitive with Saddlers Storm and Viking Splash my two against the field. My slight preference would be for the latter.
12.20 Marasonnien was runner up to Ariel at Auteil in June 2010 and that horse has since joined Paul Nicholls and finished 4th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup before winner at Ascot.
12.50 This can go the way of trainer Willie Mullins and the highly rated Midnight Game.
2.20 English raider Notus de la Tour should not be underestimated but my selection has to be Bog Warrior. He beat a subsequent winner at Navan before taking the Drinmore at Fairyhouse.
3.30 There is a good word for the point to point winner Champagne Fever.
2.10 Sir Des Champs won over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival and made a winning start to his chase career at Fairyhouse.
3.30 Tornedo Force, a recent Lingfield winner and the mount of Ryan Moore is my best bet on the all weather.
My thanks to the artists Lisa Miller (Master Minded) and Sarah Clegg (Binocular) for allowing me to use their pictures.