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19th September 2021

Boxing Day (26th Dec 2020) Tips and Trends: Kempton & Wetherby

A massive horse racing day on Boxing Day, but the festive highlight, as racing resumes after a three-day break, is the King George VI Meeting at Kempton Park.

The King George VI  Chase is, of course, the feature race on the day as punters will look to get their Christmas expenses paid for – a race in recent years we’ve seen horse racing greats like Kauto Star, Long Run, Best Mate, Kicking King, One Man and, more recently, Thistlecrack and Might Bite, landing the prize – while the Paul Nicholls-trained Clan Des Obeaux has landed the last two King George VI Chases.

Did you know - 14 of the last 18 King George winners were aged 8 or younger?

We take a look at each race on the Kempton card, plus the Rowland Meyrick Chase from Wetherby and highlight the main trends – hopefully this will help you narrow down the fields and point you in the direction of a few winners.

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here on TQ with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races - we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get going!

Kempton Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

12:40 – Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Novices' Hurdle Race 2m RTV

13/13 – Had raced in the last 8 weeks
12/13 - Aged 4 or 5 years-old
10/13 – Favourites placed in the top 3
10/13 – Returned 7/2 or shorter in the betting
10/13 – Winning distance 3 lengths or more
9/13 – Had won a NH Flat race before
7/13 – Won just once over hurdles before
7/13 – Winning favourites
5/13 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/13 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
Fred (9/2) won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: Third Time Lucki and Flic Ou Voyou set the standard here on what we’ve seen on the track so far, but both are returning from defeats and have a bit to prove. With that in mind, I’m happy to take a chance on the Nicky Henderson runner GO SACRE GO. The yard have won the last two runnings of this race and boast a decent 25% record with their hurdlers here at the track. This 4 year-old has only run once before but that was in France for a different trainer. Henderson clearly feels the horse is above average to be running him in a nice race like this on UK debut and Nico de Boinville will give him every assistance in the saddle. Of the rest, Alan King won this in 2016 and runs On To Victory, while Severence and Il Re Di Nessuno make up the six runners.


1.15 – Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Novices’ Limited Hancicap Chase (Gbb Race) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m 4 1/2f ITV

16/16 – Aged 7 or younger
15/16 – Had won between 0-1 times over fences in the UK
13/16 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
10/16 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
8/16 – Placed favourites (1 joint)
8/16 – Officially rated between 119 and 125
8/16 – Carried 11-5 or more
7/16 – Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
6/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
5/16 – Won by a French bred horse
5/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
4/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/16 – Raced at Kempton last time out
Commanche Red (4/1) won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: Mr One Man will be popular here for the Harry Fry yard after a solid second at Chepstow last time out – that came off a 1016 break so can be expected to improve for it. However, this is another race the Nicky Henderson yard have done okay in recently (2 wins since 2012) so their FALCO BLITZ and SON OF CAMAS are chanced. The former will strip fitter for a recent fifth at Ascot, while the horse seemed to lose all chance that day with a few mistakes in the race – that outing should have blown away the cobwebs and he’s also dropped 2lbs in the ratings. Son Of Camas was well touted last time at Cheltenham, but ran no sort of race on ground that was probably too soft. Yes, if there was more rain before this race, then he’s probably be a ‘no bet’ but if things dry out a tad then on this advised good-to-soft ground he could be seen in a much better light. He’s a horse that is clearly better than he’s been showing on the track, but might just be worth giving a few more tries too – especially as this is only his second run back after a wind op.

1.50 – Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices´ Chase (In memory of Nigel Clark) (Grade 1) Cl1 3m ITV

17/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
16/17 – Placed in the top two last time out
13/17 – Won last time out
13/17 – French (7) or Irish (6) bred
12/17 – Had won at least 2 times over fences in the UK
11/17 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or more
11/17 – Aged 6 or younger
11/17 – Went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (no winners)
10/17 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
9/17 – Aged 6 years-old
9/17 – Placed favourites
9/17 – Had won (chase) over at least 3m before
8/17 – Raced at Newbury last time out
7/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/17 – Trained by David Pipe
2/17 – Ridden by Tom Scudamore
2/17 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
1/17 – French trained
1/17 – Went onto run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (One winner - Coneygree 2015)
Slate House (3/1) won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: Colin Tizzard won this race 12 months ago with Slate House and tries to follow-up with a similar type in The Big Breakaway. However, he was beaten a heavy odds-on last time at Exeter, albeit over a much shorter trip (2m3f) so the return to this 3m distance will help. But I’m not so sure this flat and quicker track will play to his strengths – we’ll see. We know the Nicholls camp think their ENRILLO (e/w) is an improving Novice Chaser – he’s a proven course winner and did it well at Exeter last time out, while the form of that win has since been fracked with the runner-up Darlac – winning. He’s got a bit to find on the ratings, but I feel there could be more to come from this 6 year-old. The Cap Fits has won on this card in the past and being the top-rated in the field is hard to ignore for the Harry Fry yard, but is another that needs to bounce back from being beaten at odds-on last time. So the main pick is the Dan Skelton runner – SHAN BLUE. This 6 year-old has caught the eye with his jumping in winning his first two runs over fences at Wetherby and the form of his last success has since been given a boast with Snow Leopardess winning since. He’s a strong-travelling sort that should be well-suited to the Kempton track and after impressing when stepped up to 3m last time looks an exciting young novice worth sticking with.


2.25 – Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m ITV

16/18 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
15/18 – Had won at least 4 times over hurdles before
15/18 – Placed favourites
14/18 – Returned 11/4 or shorter in the betting
12/18 – Went onto run in the Champion Hurdle (Faughan (2015), Buveur D’Air (2018), Epatante (2019) winners)
11/18 – Won last time out
10/18 – Winning favourites
10/18 – Went onto finish in the top 5 in the Champion Hurdle that season
9/18 – Had run over hurdles at Kempton before
8/18 – Irish trained
8/18 – Ran in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Newcastle) last time out
7/18 – French bred
7/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
4/18 – Trained by Noel Meade
2/18 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
2/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins
Epatante (2/1) won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: This won’t take long – the Nicky Henderson-trained EPATANTE should be winning this and if he doesn’t it will be one of the biggest shocks over the festive racing period. She’s the current Champion Hurdler and returned to the track with a facile win in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last time out. She’s rated 4lbs superior to Silver Streak, but also gets a handy 7lbs mares’ allowance so is, therefore, 11lbs well-in. She’s also the current champ in this race so we know the track is fine – it will be left for Silver Streak, Ballyandy, Diego Du Charmil and Floressa to fight it out for the silver medal – and really on that score the consistent Silver Steak should be living up to his name and filling the runners-up spot.

3.00 – Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 3m ITV

16/18 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
16/18 – Had won a Grade One chase before
16/18 – Finished in the top three last time out
16/18 – French (12) or Irish bred (4)
15/18 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
15/18 – Placed favourites
15/18 – Had won over 3m or further (fences) before
14/18 – Officially rated 169 or higher
14/18 – Aged 8 or younger
11/18 – Winning favourites
11/18 – Won last time out
11/18 – Had won a race over fences at Kempton before
10/18 – Ran in the Betfair Chase (Haydock) last time out
10/18 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
9/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (11 times in all)
8/18 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/18 – Won by an Irish-based yard (only 3 in the last 34 runnings)
Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson have trained 5 of the last 10 winners (2 Tizzard, 3 Henderson)
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 4/1

TQ VERDICT: Another decent renewal of the King George – but it does seem to look a race of two halves, with the current champ Clan Des Obeaux, Cyrname, Santini and Lostintranslation the main players of the 9 runners. Cyrname is the clear top-rated in the field (176), and has 5lbs in hand on his stablemate Clan Des Obeaux, but it’s hard to forget his run in this race last year when clearly not getting home. Yes, with another year on his back and the fact he won well over 3m at Wetherby last time out suggests he might be a stronger horse now and you certainly can’t rule him out! Lostintranslation was pulled-up in this race last year too and was well beaten in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his return. He’s clearly a useful horse on his day, but he’s got a fair bit to prove in my book and looks a horse that is better suited by Cheltenham. Santini was a surprise addition to this race in the week, but he’s another that hasn’t quite fulfilled his promise. He was beaten in the Many Clouds Chase last time out as favourite and I’m not sure the Kempton track will suit him. I can see him running on at the death, but just feel he might not have the pace around here to keep up during the first half of the race and that might be his undoing. So that leaves me with CLAN DES OBEAUX, the winner of the last two runnings of this race. He returned to the track with a fine second in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and should be spot-on for this now. He’s a horse that seems to thrive at Kempton and he’s still only an 8 year-old. He had Cyrname 21 lengths back in second in this race 12 months ago and even though it’s hard to see a repeat of that sort of distance, in recent years the King George has been a good race for past winners and I think it will be more of the same here. Of the rest, the likes of Waiting Patiently and Saint Calvados could run big races if returning at the top of their games and of the two WAITING PATIENTLY (e/w) does look the dark horse

3.35 – Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-140) 2m5f RTV


13/13 – Won no more than 3 times (UK Hurdles)
12/13 – Aged 6 or younger
11/13 – Won between 0-2 times hurdles (UK)
10/13 – Returned 8/1 or shorter
10/13 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/13 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
9/13 – Ran 5 or less weeks ago
8/13 – Officially rated 120-129
8/13 – Won last time out
7/13 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
7/13 – Unplaced favourites
6/13 – French bred
3/13 – Winning favourites
2/13 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
Honest Vic (10/1) won the race 12 months ago

TQ VERDICT: A tricky race to end the card with, but with the Nicky Henderson yard having 25% record with their hurdles at the track then I’m happy to have a small interest in their two runners – BARBADOS BLUE and RATHHILL. The former returns from a 593 day break so has clearly had it’s issues, but is a proven CD winner and was last seen winning here by an easy 30 lengths. She’s still only 6 years-old though so should have more to come and Nico de Boinville is a plus in the saddle. Rathhill was an exciting horse back in the 2018/19 season but is another that had his issues but the Henderson yard are persisting with him and has still only had 5 career runs. He’s dropped 2lbs, while he should be better for a recent run at Newbury and the softer ground this time will be in his favour too. Of the rest, recent winners Riggs, Switch Hitter and Ecco are other big players, while Runswick Bay, Whatsupwithyou and the versatile Coeur De Lion are others with claims.

Wetherby Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

2.05 – William Hill Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 3m45y ITV

11/12 – Aged 8 or younger
11/12 – Had won 3 or less times over fences (UK)
10/12 – Didn’t win last time out
10/12 – Aged 7 or 8 years-old
10/12 – Raced in the last 5 weeks
10/12 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
9/12 – Had raced at Wetherby before
8/12 – Carried 11-0 or less in weight
8/12 – Had won over 3m (chase) before
7/12 – Unplaced in their last race
7/12 – Irish bred
4/12 – Raced at either Haydock (2) or Aintree (2) last time out
3/12– Winning favourites
Top Ville Ben won the race in 2019
Lake View Lad won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: The key age trend puts a line though the older horses in the race – Guitar Pete, Wandrin Star, The Dutchman and Beau Bay. Canelo will be popular after his decent second at Newbury last time out but I was taken by the way SNOW LEOPARDESS battled on last time at Haydock to win and despite being up 9lbs here looks a horse with more to come over fences. She’s only had three career runs over the sticks and after winning for the first time in her most recent outing I think that confidence can see her kick on. Of the rest, Windsor Avenue is respected if putting that last run when pulled up behind him, but the other pick is SPRITOFTHEGAMES (e/w), who was a nice second at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time and gets in here off the same mark. He’s a horse that’s only won one of his 11 chase starts, but if often not far away and that return run was a top effort that if able to build on slightly would make him a big player here.

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