Bryony Frost and Rachael Blackmore do battle at the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day but Sir Alex Ferguson could be the big winner! ITV presenter ED CHAMBERLAIN picks six horses to look out for this festive weekend
- Horse racing is gearing up for an action packed weekend over Christmas
- On Boxing Day, two of the sport’s biggest stars do battle in the King George VI
- However, Ed Chamberlain picks Sir Alex Ferguson to be grinning on Sunday
- The ITV presenter picks six horses to look out for this festive weekend
Presenter ED CHAMBERLIN picks out six horses to look out for as ITV broadcast four bumper days of Festive action
The King George VI Chase has plenty of ingredients to attract sports fan as well as the racing fan particularly the clash between the sport’s two biggest stars – Bryony Frost on Frodon and Rachael Blackmore on Minella Indo.
Our viewing figures over the last few weeks for jump racing have been huge and I think it is largely down to those two riders with huge receptions for Rachael when she won the Betfair Chase at Haydock on A Plus Tard and Bryony for her win on Greaneteen in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
ITV presenter Ed Chamberlain (right) has selected six horses to look out for this weekend
But I think this massive prize will elude them both and that we could see another treble for Sir Alex Ferguson with a third victory in the race for his contender CLAN DES OBEAUX.
It’s an elite band who have lost their crown and regained it in this race – Kauto Star and Wayward Lad did it – and I think the winner in 2018 and 2019 who was third last year might go off at a price bigger than he should because of the public affection for Blackmore and Frost.
Winning the race on his first start of the British season is tough but he has been deliberately kept fresh by trainer Paul Nicholls, the 12-time winner of the race.
There is no-one better in the game at that sort of target training. Ruby Walsh said on ITV that when Paul told him a horse was ready you knew they would be in shape to run for their life.
That’s the vibe coming out of the Nicholls camp with Clan Des Obeaux.
All eyes will be on Bryony Frost (L) and Rachael Blackmore (R) in the King George VI Chase
However, Sir Alex Ferguson could be laughing with his horse, CLAN DES OBEAUX in the mix
Sport is at its best with head-to-heads and two of the most exciting novice chasers in this country – AHOY SENOR and Bravemansgame – clash in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.
I am hoping it lives up to its billing and I am going with my heart. Ahoy Senor represents the charismatic partnership of Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell and her partner Peter Scudamore and it would be great if the north again had a real humdinger of a chaser to take on the best steeplechasers from Britain and Ireland in the biggest races.
WHAT’S ON ITV THIS CHRISTMAS
Today 26 December
ITV1 (1pm to 3.30pm)
Races from Kempton and Wetherby
Tomorrow 27 December
ITV4 (12.45 to 15.30)
Races from Kempton and Chepstow
Tuesday 28 December
ITV4 (12.55 to 3.45)
Races from Leopardstown, Catterick and Leicester
Wednesday 29 December
ITV4 (1pm to 4pm)
Races from Leopardstown, Newbury and Doncaster
Saturday 1 January
ITV1 (12.55pm to 3.30pm)
Races from Cheltenham, Musselburgh and Tramore
This time last year the wheels had completely come off DEBECE but he switched to the Dan Skelton stable as a well-handicapped horse if he could relight the fire. He had one run for the stable at Sandown in March when ran well.
It looks like he has been targeted at the Rowland Meyrick Chase, feature contest on Wetherby’s card.
Monday 27 December
I am a big SECRET REPRIEVE fan. He was wildly impressive when winning the Welsh National last year and I think he will win it again. For me his trainer Evan Williams has been the trainer of the season so far with some big winners and I am putting my faith in him to have the horse cherry ripe to defend his title.
LORD ROYAL produced fair run when seventh in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, a race that is throwing up plenty of subsequent winners. Ran an eyecatcher in the Troytown Chase at Navan until getting tired after clouting a fence early. He’s interesting in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Handicap Chase.
Tuesday 28 December
A PLUS TARD will be many people’s banker bet of the Christmas programme to win the Savills Chase for the second season running. Over a flat, left-handed track he looks absolutely deadly as he showed when cruising home in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.
It looks like another big prize booked for the combination of Blackmore and trainer Henry De Bromhead.