Katie Walsh: Cyrname will prevail in the King George
The Betway ambassador reveals her fancies for the Grade 1 spectacle at Kempton and the rest of the racing on Boxing Day.
The first of many Grade 1 races over the festive period is the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (13:55) at Kempton Park, and I’m a fan of Slate House for Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power.
He hacked up at Cheltenham in October and was moving up to win the BetVictor Gold Cup in November when knuckling and coming down at the second.
He then won at Huntingdon a couple of weeks ago in a decent race to give him a confidence booster for this test.
Any novice that moves that fluently coming down the hill at Cheltenham in such a big handicap has got some talent and he’s going to be tough to beat.
The King George (15:05) is one of the biggest spectacles of the National Hunt season and I’m so excited for this race.
While I do think it’s very tight between Cyrname and Lostintranslation, the fact that Cyrname has ‘home advantage’ makes me think he’ll just prevail here.
Harry Cobden will let him go from the front and, on such a tight and flat track, will utilise his long stride and his fantastic jumping.
With two previous winners in the field and Willie Mullins' Footpad coming over it’s going to be a race to savour.
There’s a Grade 1 Novices’ Chase at Limerick and we see the eagerly awaited clash between Samcro and Faugheen.
Faugheen is the Champion Hurdle winner but I’m a big fan of Samcro who, despite falling last time, has looked back to his best this season.
Who knows what would have happened had he not tripped up last time, but I don’t think it was a given that Fakir D’oudairies was home and hosed. It’s going to be a smashing race, whatever the outcome.
I do think Castlebrook will run a massive race and he’s hugely overpriced on the back of that great run at Gowran Park behind Getabird and Paloma Blue.
He’s a big beast of a horse and will love the cut in the ground.
The other Grade 1 Novices’ Chase in Ireland on St. Stephen’s Day is the exciting clash between Fakir D’oudairies and Laurina at Leopardstown.
They’re both class acts and we’re spoilt to be seeing such stars go up against each other, but I’m going to side with Laurina as I absolutely love her.
She’s not slow at all, she jumps like a stag and as she has two years more experience over Joesph’s horse.
You can guarantee it’s going to be a cracker.
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