This year’s Boxing Day event at Kempton is full of interest, particularly in the King George VI Chase over 3 miles. Kauto Star is four time winner of this event, however, last season he had his colours well and truly lowered by Long Run. The pair met again at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup event where Long Run again prevailed.
Most pundits agree that Kauto Star had an ‘off’ season last year, and while now eleven years old, he seems to have come back better than ever. His win in the BetBubbles Chase was comprehensive with Long Run a long way back. Despite that run, bookmakers have made Long Run the ante-post favourite for the King George VI Chase quoting him at a rather short 11/8/. Kauto Star is a Kempton specialist and at 7/2 second elect, looks to be great value.
While this looks to be a race in two, Captain Chris and Master Minded (both at 7/1) shouldn’t be ignored. The question over these two is whether or not they will get the three miles. They both look like they will get the distance, and Master Minded in particular, also looks to be a good each way bet.
In the Christmas Hurdle, much has been said of the competition between Overture and Binocular. Binocular is at 2/1 while Overture is out to 5/2, however, splitting them is Rock On Ruby at 9/4 and he certainly looks to be a very promising hurdler. Whether or not he has the class to take this event is the gamble – we think he does and looks to be a good bet at those odds.
We’re Kauto Star to win the King George VI ahead of Master Minded and Long Run; and Rock On Ruby to win the Christmas Hurdle ahead of Overture and Binocular. The race is now on for the Cheltenham Festival as trainers, owners and riders prepare their charges for one of the most popular National Hunt betting meets of the year.