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Horse Racing Blog: King George & Christmas Hurdle Previews


Lostintranslation Looks The King George Value Bet

Desert Orchid and Kauto Star are the only horses to win the King George VI Chase three times in three years but Clan Des Obeaux is the 15/8 favourite with bet365* to join that small and select group at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

The biggest threat to the Paul Nicholls’ trained winner in 2018 and 2019 is Cyrname who is in the hands of the same trainer.

The combined price for the two Nicholls’ runners is about 2/5 but Lostintranslation offers the betting value at a best odds of 15/2 with bet365*. Paul Nicholls sends four horses to Kempton in total in pursuit of a 12th win in the famous race.

Santini was supplemented at the last minute but Kempton does not play to the strengths of the Nicky Henderson runner. The rest of the field have too much to find on Official Ratings.

Gold Cup Pointers

The 10 King George entries include this March’s Cheltenham Gold Cup second (Santini), third (Lostintranslation), fourth (Monalee), sixth (Real Steel) and eighth (Clan Des Obeaux). However, most bookmakers have removed Monalee from the betting because the Irish-trained horse may not be able to travel.

Lostintranslation looked the best horse in the Gold Cup for most of the race but was outstayed by the winner, Al Boum Photo, and overhauled close home by Santini.

The eight-year old has the ability to beat the Nicholls’ two market leaders and give trainer Colin Tizzard his first King George winner since Cue Card won the mid-season championship chase back in 2015.


Epatante Can’t Be Ignored With Christmas Hurdle Allowance

Epatante receives the seven pounds fillies and mares allowance which makes her just about unbeatable in the Christmas Hurdle on the same Kempton card.

There is an argument for making Grade 1 races level weights contests but the sex allowance has stood the test of time. Epatante enjoyed the same advantage when dotting up in the Champion Hurdle in March.

The Henderson horse has won her last four starts, including this race a year ago. Epatante was an impressive winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last month in her first outing of the season.

She can win another Christmas Hurdle and it would take a brave punter to back against the defending champion in the Champion Hurdle next year.

The fly in the ointment in both these hurdle races at the highest level could still be Goshen, if running. The demolition of a high class field up to a final hurdle mishap in the Triumph Hurdle in March is still a vivid memory.

His poor run at Cheltenham earlier this month is too bad to be true but Goshen would have to be a superstar to beat Epatante carrying seven pounds more weight.

Silver Streak, Ballyandy and Sceau Royal were second, third and fourth in that International Hurdle, behind Song For Someone who looks like going straight to the festival and the Champion Hurdle. Epatante could beat the boys at level weights so the allowance is just too much to ignore for the 4/11 favourite with bet365 for the Christmas Hurdle.

And finally…

There are three Grade 1 races at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, the two previewed here and the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.

The track is in Tier 4 which means racing behind closed doors and owners cannot attend. The sports’ finances are not in good shape but one potential solution is creating global pools for the major races on the Flat and over jumps.

Punters in Hong Kong can bet on races at Royal Ascot and an extension could bring financial rewards at a time of great need.