Timeform UK SmartPlays: Thursday 26 December

Fusil Raffles over hurdles
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"...has leading claims for a yard with a terrific record in this race..."

Timeform on Fusil Raffles

Fusil Raffles - 14:30 Kempton

Fusil Raffles landed the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at this track on his first outing for Nicky Henderson in February, showing much improved form from his previous French exploits. Henderson's recruit was forced to miss Cheltenham and Aintree through injury, but proved himself as one of the best juveniles of his crop when landing the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown in May. He made it three wins from three starts for this stable when making a successful step out of juvenile company in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last month and he has leading claims for a yard with a terrific record in this race.

Simply The Betts - 13:20 Kempton

Simply The Betts is a dual hurdle winner and currently two from two over fences this term, winning at Chepstow before following up under a penalty at Newcastle. Harry Whittington's charge is still open to progress but he will find this a much tougher assignment than the ones he has been tackling of late and may come up short.

Smart Stat
Vegas Blue - 12:50 Kempton

4 - Nicky Henderson's number of winners in last 8 runnings.

Vegas Blue overcame inexperience to make a winning start to life under Rules in a bumper at Bangor in May, coming clear with a previous winner, and she maintained her unbeaten record with an even better effort in Huntingdon listed event seven months on. She was perfectly positioned as it turned out but still ran to a good level for a four-year-old filly. Nicky Henderson has an excellent recent record in this race, and has not been afraid to run top prospects here - Altior won the 2015 renewal - so Vegas Blue is definitely one to keep onside.

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