Horse Racing – Four points of value on Boxing Day

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RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from the Boxing Day action.

1:55 Kempton

The Kauto Star Novice chase looks competitive if not top class and none of these particularly stand out as superstars.

Mia’s Storm is favourite and this talented mare has taken well to fences. Having said that, this is a further step up in class and any additional rain between now and race time would be against her. At the odds she’s not for me.

Fountains Windfall (13/2 SportingBet) was up with the best of these over hurdles, and despite mistakes and never really travelling, he was in with a huge chance when falling three out last time. If he gets in to a rhythm here, he would not be a surprise winner in my eyes. He’s the value call here.

2:20 Leopardstown

This grade 1 novice chase has brought together two of the most exciting young chasers around. However, over this trip it may prove to be a mismatch.

Death Duty has a huge reputation and is likely to run a big race in the staying novice chases come the Spring. But this doesn’t look ideal for him. He’s never won over a trip this short over obstacles, so this is going to take him out of his comfort zone.

He’s taking on Footpad (4/5 Betfair) who was 4th in a Champion Hurdle and made a fantastic start to his career over fences. Footpad is likely to have far too many gears for Death Duty and I can’t see him being beaten in this.

2:30 Kempton

The Christmas Hurdle is normally one of the highlights of my Christmas period. However this doesn’t excite me. In fact, it leaves me feeling a little flat.

Buveur D’Air wins this race barring a fall. I was going to say barring an accident but he could probably make a mistake at every hurdle and still win. He faces up against The New One here, who loves this race and looks nailed on to follow him home.

It’s not likely to make you rich but the Buveur D’Air/The New One forecast looks the play here to cover the cost of a few presents from yesterday.

3:05 Kempton

The King George looks an absolute cracker and I can’t wait for this. Some real superstars line up and 6 of the 8 runners are previous grade 1 winners.

Might Bite is favourite for this and will be hard to beat. He’s hugely talented and seems to love the track. He generally jumps well, has no shortage of pace and will race prominently, so I wouldn’t want to put anyone off him. But I’ve taken him on.

Thistlecrack looked a superstar when winning this race last year, but his return from injury was so flat it means he cannot be backed. Bristol De Mai would be my selection if this was at Haydock and on heavy ground, but it’s not so he’s not.

I’ve backed Fox Norton (8/1 SportingBet) to win this. He is no longer a two-miler in my opinion and I think three miles round Kempton will be ideal for him. He will jump and travel better than anything else, and looking at his win at Aintree, it’s hard to envisage him not staying. I’m really looking forward to seeing him line up here.

 

Best Bets

1:55 Kempton- Fountains Windfall (13/2 SportingBet)

2:20 Leopardstown – Footpad (4/5 Betfair)

2:30 Kempton – Buveir D’Air/The New One – Forecast

3:05 Kempton- Fox Norton (8/1 SportingBet)

 

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