• Mon 25 Sep, 2017
  • 07:26 BST
  • 03:26 EST (BST-4)
  • 09:26 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Boxing Day

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. View selections below.

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THISTLECRACK (3.15) can simply outspeed his four rivals in the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The big face-off between reigning World Hurdle champion Thistlecrack and illustrious stablemate Cue Card is a mouth-watering prospect, with the former’s superior cruising speed probably the deciding factor.

Thistlecrack has rarely been off the bridle in winning his last nine races and although his three wins over fences haven’t been totally blemish free, he has never looked like falling. This will be his first visit to Kempton but the track should suit and he has won going right-handed in the past.

Cue Card has earned his spurs over the years, rendering him one of our most popular and enduring chasers, and it will be interesting to witness what tactics are adopted by Paddy Brennan.

His mount is looking more and more like a thorough stayer these days and, with this in mind, Brennan will be unwilling to accept a slackening pace on last year’s winner. It will be an intriguing battle of wits.

THE NEW ONE (2.40) looked a different horse when beating My Tent Or Yours in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and he has no Faugheen to contend with this year in the 32Red.com Christmas Hurdle.

Runner-up to the Irish champion in 2015, The New One can go one better at the main expense of Yanworth. Earlier in the season the World Hurdle was mentioned as his probable long-term target, but with Uknowhatimeanharry emerging as warm favourite to land the stayers’crown, JP McManus is keen to evaluate the prospects of Yanworth scooping a Champion Hurdle.

Alan King’s stable star’s winning sequence last season was brought to an end in the Neptune at Cheltenham in March, when a rare indifferent ride from Barry Geraghty contributed to his defeat at the hands of Yorkhill.

Yanworth was pushed all the way by Lil Rockerfella on his comeback at Ascot in November and it remains to be seen if he possesses the tactical speed to beat The New One and My Tent Or Yours, winner of this event in 2013, over the minimum trip.

JENKINS (12.55) treads in the hoofprints of brilliant stablemate Altior by lining up for Nicky Henderson in the opening 32Red Casino Novices’ Hurdle.

His victory over Bags Groove and Caplain Forez at Newbury’s Hennessy fixture may not look quite so bombproof now following the subsequent defeat of both the placed horses, but the way he went about his business left a deep impression.

MIGHT BITE (2.05) has a live chance of giving the Henderson yard another winner when going to post for the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.

The seven-year-old boasts winning course form, carrying 11st 12lb to victory over hurdles in March, and should take this step up to three miles in his stride.

He hacked up at Doncaster earlier this month, his task simplified by the exit of market rival Cyrius Moriviere, and looks to have a big future.

Paul Nicholls will be keen to land the race named in honour of his five-time King George hero, and Frodon brings plenty of rock-solid form to the top table. He handed out a beating to some seasoned handicappers in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham and three miles could bring about even more improvement.

Prolific winner Present Man gives Nicholls a second bite at the cherry, while Tony Martin sends over the McManus-owned Anibale Fly with obvious claims in an interesting contest.

The concluding 2m 5f handicap hurdle provides an opportunity for a decent each-way punt on MOSCATO (3.45) if all 16 declared stand their ground.

Rated in the 90s on the level for Sir Mark Prescott (fourth in the Northumberland Plate), Moscato has been knocking at the door since joining Oliver Sherwood. The gelding has twice chased home decent sorts Ballyhill and London Prize, at Ludlow and Leicester respectively, and doesn’t appear overburdened with 11st 2lb.

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