Boxing Day racing tips: Kempton, Leopardstown and Wetherby
We've got horse racing tips from all over England and Ireland to spread some festive cheer on one of the biggest days in the racing calendar.
We'll kick things off with the opener at Kempton, where we have got a fantastic offer of money back as a free bet up to £10 if your horse loses.
With that insurance, I’m going for THOMAS DARBY to reverse the form from last time out at Ascot in November.
Olly Murphy’s five-year-old was a perfect two from two before Didtheyleaveuoutto just got up to deny him.
There were a few suspect jumps that ultimately cost him that day but, with 3 lbs off his main rival here, I think he can get revenge.
Moving over to Ireland now where, in a tough Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle, I’ll go for Gordon Elliot’s CHIEF JUSTICE .
The three-year-old was slightly unlucky for Richard Fahey on the flat, finishing runner-up four times from seven runs, but looks rejuvenated over hurdles.
He’s won four and finished second twice from six trips so far, narrowly holding off stablemate Coeur Sublime last time out at Fairyhouse in a Grade 3 triumph.
Davy Russell is a perfect three from three on board and is in the saddle again to hopefully continue that run and, potentially, mark himself as a real contender for the Triumph Hurdle.
This renewal of the Kauto Star Chase looks fantastic, with a good case to be made for a lot of the field.
Although I’ve been really impressed with Harry Fry’s Bags Groove this season, I think SANTINI is just too good.
He's three from a possible four over hurdles, with his only defeat coming in the Albert Bartlett, and also produced a very impressive win on his chasing debut at Newbury.
Even more impressive is the fact that he wasn’t necessarily 100 per cent fit that day, so will have no issues staying the 3m here.
He’s got the form and should relish the conditions in what looks like Nico de Boinville’s best chance of a winner on the day.
Across to Wetherby now for some Grade 3 action, where I like the chances of Nick Alexander’s LAKE VIEW LAD .
The eight year-old has been in decent form in 2018 (212-31) and was particularly impressive last time out in a Listed race at Newcastle, beating a field of 12 including Captian Chaos, Otago Trail and Big River.
Henry Brooke took that ride for the first time and stays in the saddle, looking to win the same race he won last year on board Get On The Yager.
Some All-Weather action now with a Betway-sponsored race, and I fancy MOSSY’S LODGE to continue her resurgence in form under Rebecca Menzies.
She’s a course-and-distance winner and has a decent record since moving stables with two wins, two seconds and two thirds from 10 runs.
Paula Muir won on her last time out and brings her 5 lbs claim, which should help a horse that relishes these handicap fields.
This is by far the best field we’ve seen in a King George for some time.
I don’t see Might Bite repeating last year’s triumph after flopping in the Betfair Chase. Politologue has a fantastic record away from Cheltenham but I’m not sure he stays the 3m, and I think the best days for Colin Tizzards’ pair of Native River and Thistlecrack are behind them.
So, by process of elimination, I’m taking a big chance on Ruth Jefferson’s WAITING PATIENTLY .
The seven-year-old is a perfect six from six over fences and has answered every question emphatically thus far.
He won nicely here over 2m 4f at the start of the year – beating a field including Art Mauresque, God’s Own, Smad Place and Josses Hill – but we haven’t seen him since his iconic Grade 1 triumph over Cue Card in the Ascot Chase.
I don’t think the step up to 3m is a real concern as he jumps beautifully, but lengthy lay-off of over 320 days makes this a huge task.
Regardless, he should love the ground and I’ve been keen on his chances for some time now so he’s definitely worth backing.
The final tip comes in the last at Kempton where I think PENN LANE looks a nice price.
He was out for the best part of 20 months but returned with a remarkable runner-up spot to First Assignment at Huntingdon at the start of the year, and followed that up with a hard-fought victory at Ffos Las last month.
Proven over 2m 5f and nicely handicapped at 11-6, I think he should have a solid each-way shout.
CHIEF JUSTICE | SANTINI
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