Jacamar to outrun his price
We begin with a Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at 13:20 which looks a tight affair with a whole host of runners that can be given a winning chance to. However, the horse who fits most of the trends in this race for me is Jacamar who looks overpriced for an each-way play.
For this contest, it's paid to side with a six-year-old with this race going to a horse of that age for the past seven years. An ideal rating for this race is between 123 and 137 with that translating to a weight of between 10st5lb and 11st8lb.
Ideally a horse who races prominently is favourable however, this hasn't been as strong a trend in recent years as imagined for a chase race at Kempton. Something that is notable is a horse who has had at least two starts that season tends to go well in this race. The final trend to consider is that the horse ran well last time out whether in handicap company or in a graded contest.
None of these runners fit every single one of these trends therefore, questions have to be answered by all.
However, the runner who ticks the most boxes is Jacamar. This horse is a six-year-old, rated 130 who has had four starts already this season. He also ran well last time out to finish second at Wincanton by a head. The only concern about his chances is that he tends to be a hold up performer which isn't ideal for this track on decent ground.
Hopefully, the newly enlisted jockey, Danny Mullins can ride Jacamar closer to the pace than usual. For all the pace trend isn't as significant as expected for this race, it would still be a concern if he's ridden too far back.
Empire Steel ticks most boxes at Wetherby
Next up it's Wetherby's feature race on Boxing Day in the form of the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase over 3m at 14:10. . Once again, as expected of this race, it looks a wide-open contest.
I went back through the trends of this race to see what variables are worth keeping on side.
The first notable stat to follow is the record that seven-year-olds have in this race. Following that, it's worth siding with a horse rated 140-150 who is carrying 11st plus. Horses who try and make all in this race don't have a good record but other than that, there isn't much of a preferred running style.
Ideally a horse is coming into this race on the back of two starts already this season and ran well last time out. Horses who come here on the back of a maximum of one month break also have a good record.
The current favourite is Silver Hallmark who is a lightly raced horse and remains very unexposed as he moves up in trip.
He's been a fragile horse to train for Fergal O'Brien but he ran well on his reappearance in a very strong renewal of the Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase. That form continues to work out well and there should be more to come from Silver Hallmark.
The concern about his chances is that he's only had one start this season and it's been 56 days since his last run. He also ran well without threatening on that latest outing so I think he's worth taking on for the win.
The other horse to tick most of the boxes in this race is Empire Steel who is a bigger price than Silver Hallmark with less questions to have to answer.
He too is a seven-year-old rated 141 and he ran well to finish second last time out at Haydock. It's been one month since that latest outing which is a positive however, he too has only had the sole start this season.
Other than that negative, Empire Steel looks likely to go well and is available at an each-way price.
Minella can dethrone Frodon in superb King George
It's the feature race on Boxing Day that I'm turning my attention to with three bets in the King George VI Chase at 15:05.
I like the look of Minella Indo for the win however, I still want to keep Chantry House on side at his current price. If the rain does come, then Tornado Flyer looks a likeable each-way bet at a big price too.
I'll begin with my thoughts behind the Gold Cup hero, Minella Indo. Henry De Bromhead's charge comes into the King George on the back of his reappearance at Down Royal in the Grade 1 Champion Chase where he finished third.
That latest outing looked very much like a reappearance start where it was reported that he wasn't 100% tuned up and was carrying condition. He still ran well despite not being fully fit to finish third behind Frodon and Galvin, showing his wellbeing as much as anything else in the run.
He tracked Frodon throughout the race, jumping well and showing plenty of pace as well. He mounted his challenge before clipping the top of the second last fence which halted his momentum. He looked to blow up as the front two extended away from him. Minella Indo stuck to the task well but the feeling was that the form would be reversed as the season progressed.
That form line will be put to the test here as Frodon was tuned to perfection for that race whereas Minella Indo will only be peaking now.
He clearly showed in both the Down Royal reappearance and his win in the Gold Cup that he has ample pace which will suit Kempton's speedy nature. He was also very clever with his jumping throughout the Gold Cup, dancing his feet around at the boards when needing to go short but displaying scope when asked up for a long stride.
That was the best sight after his progression was halted due to jumping issues in the middle part of last season. The jumping turnaround has been spectacular and something regularly associated with Henry De Bromhead. Minella Indo has the chance for a proper run at this season and looks the horse to beat.
Chantry might just bring the House down
I also like the chances about Chantry House, who is a huge talent and we still don't know how good he is yet.
Part of that wonder is due to the conservative campaigning he's had. Yet this was also the case last season where the concern was whether he'd have the necessary experience to win at the Cheltenham Festival. However, he comfortably won the Marsh Novices' Chase where he had the reopposing Asterion Forlonge five-lengths back in third.
Of course, that form at the time was taken with a pinch of salt due to Envoi Allen falling at the fourth fence. However, the form of that Grade 1 is looking more and more convincing despite Envoi Allen not appearing to be quite the horse most expected since his stable switch. However, Asterion Forlonge and Shan Blue have certainly shaped like two of the most talented horses in training despite jumping frailties letting them down.
Chantry House was less convincing when winning at Aintree but may have been showing the toll of the season by April.
Nicky Henderson found him an ideal seasonal debut in a usual, small-runner field Listed Intermediate Chase at Sandown where he bolted up. He merely showed his well-being but is sure to play a significant role here.
Don't dismiss Tornado Flyer at a big price
The final selection for the Boxing Day blockbuster is Tornado Flyer at an each-way price and represents Willie Mullins.
This horse may be available at a big price but he's no back number by any means as his form stacks up amongst the best in this race. He hasn't won since December 2019 mainly because he's constantly running against horses who are simply better than him.
However, plenty of those horses he's been facing aren't lining up in this year's King George. To echo that point, he's been beaten by none other than, Allaho, Chacun Pour Soi, A Plus Tard and Min on his last five starts. He's been a double figure price on each of those occasions and hasn't been disgraced in any of them.
He signed off last season with a third in the Ryanair Chase behind Allaho and Fakir D'Oudairies where admittedly, he was probably aided by being ridden with restraint and picked up the pieces to an extent.
However, his reappearance run to finish fifth in the John Durkan, just behind Fakir D'Oudairies again, was a solid effort.
He ran on in eye-catching fashion in the finish over the 2m4f100y trip which makes this second attempt at three miles look a good ploy.
The concern for his chances is if the ground is too quick as his best form is on soft or heavy. Being a son of Flemensfirth, it makes sense that slower conditions should see him in the best light. However, he does have good ground form but of course, at this level, any preferences become exposed