Nick Luck Christmas Racing Preview 2018 - (2022)
Kempton – 1.20 Dell Oro
I like the way the imposing son of Walk in The Park has been campaigned, with connections opting to go chasing before the handicapper has really got his measure. He ran an excellent race here over hurdles on his final start and probably improved on that when chasing home the speedier Chesterfield over 2m 2f. This slightly longer trip should suit well and his sound jumping technique will stand him in good stead in a spicy race for the grade.
Kempton – 1.55 Bags Groove
This is a terrific running of this staying novices chase and it will take a special horse to better the eminently likeable Santini and the talented The World’s End. But Bags Groove was deeply impressive when dispatching useful rivals at both Huntingdon and Wincanton and this relative test of speed on a sound surface might suit ideally. He has always had his trainer purring about his raw ability and he may just be starting to justify that lofty opinion.
Kempton – 2.30 If the Cap Fits
Truth be told, the figures suggest another cakewalk for Buveur d’Air. But if I start recommending 1/4 shots here, the game is up. So I’ll have a sporting crack at If the Cap Fits in the belief that he is both a better horse than his rating and a faster horse than he has been pigeonholed off the back of a slightly laborious win over further at Ascot. The Ascot race was a tempo-led affair in which he was a bit too far back (having been impeded) off a muddling gallop. A well run two miles is right up his street, and the presence of Boîte to harass Global Citizen on the front might ensure a consistent pace. Admittedly, this will play beautifully for the favourite, but I fancy Harry Fry’s horse can at least be his closest pursuer.
Kempton – 3.05 Politologue/Coneygree e/w
I’ve been sweet on Politologue for this race for ages. In reality, my confidence has ebbed because of the incredible depth of the field and the presence of some brilliant copper-bottomed stayers to make this a real war. That said, the selection has very good course form, is a very sound jumper at pace and should, at least, travel away well until his stamina is called into question.
Bristol de Mai is yet to back up the same sheer brilliance away from Haydock (though he is still capable of very useful form elsewhere), Native River jumped markedly left on his last visit to Kempton (which was his last foray right handed), and Might Bite is hard to back at the prices after a sulky comeback and faces markedly stiffer competition than when beating Double Shuffle and Tea for Two last year.
Clan des Obeaux is nearly ready for this, but perhaps not quite, while Thistlecrack needs to meet every fence bang-on (if he does, he’s a player).
Waiting Patiently is a massive talent, but this is an equally massive ask first time out, and I’d like him to jump a little faster and with a little less care for a King George. The overpriced one might be Coneygree, and I’ll have a few quid each way on him as well. He was brilliant around here in the Feltham a few years back and is no back number judged on his Cheltenham comeback over an extreme distance.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.
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