Kempton Placepot: Friday December 26

Menorah rates as a reasonable Placepot prospect
Menorah rates as a reasonable Placepot prospect

Kempton's card on Boxing Day is high on quality and promises to provide a bumper pool, too.

"Although those looking for a cheap way through could viably turn to Silviniaco Conti, the King George is a race in which we can take more of a risk."

12:50 - With only two places to aim at and five legitimate challengers for them in this well-contested novice we'll need to take two. Anticipating plenty of interest in Sempre Medici, who brings useful Flat form from France and an impressive debut in Ireland, we'll take Jollyallan and Arzal instead, both being potentially useful. It's likely that even if Supreme Medici dots up that one of ours will take second.

13:25 - As in leg one, it's quite easy for those focussing on the Placepot to look away from the likely hype horse. Here it's Katgary, who's now presented with the trip and obstacles that promise to make him but he comes here with a bit to prove. Instead we're going with Theatrebar, who jumps like an old hand already and may yet have something to come, and the generally unexposed Stellar Notion.

14:00 - With only the seven in the Kauto Star and the field comprising one standout and a handful of closely-matched rivals in behind, it makes sense to play it safe with Saphir de Rheu. He's the one from this field who's bound for the big time and he banished all lingering doubts from his short-lived chasing debut with a superb display at Exeter last time.

14:35 - We'll take another craven banker on the favourite in the Christmas Hurdle, as the King George is a more appealing race to take a cut at. It's hard to see past Faugheen for this if he's the horse he's seemed up to now, the opposition here not really of Champion Hurdle standard, the complete unknown of exciting prospect Sign of A Victory notwithstanding.

15:10 - Although those looking for a cheap way through could viably turn to Silviniaco Conti, the King George is a race in which we can take more of a risk. The trio of Dynaste, Menorah and Al Ferof are the three you'd consider if Silviniaco Conti is ruled out of calculations and it's suspected that the last two named are the best horses among the trio. Menorah is overpriced if you take this winter's form in isolation, while Al Ferof is a superstar delayed but he finally looked to be arriving when running out an impressive winner at Ascot last time.

15:45 - Pipe-trained French recruits pitched straight into handicaps are agents of chaos for the Placepot and we simply have to avoid Alternatif, having no option to see how the market goes with him. We do have the advantage of being able to take Go West Young Man, because his undoubted quirks cost him wins more than placed finishes. We're also going to take A Good Skin, who strictly must improve but has offered more than enough promise in three starts to suggest he's up to competing from a BHA mark of 122.


12:50 - 1, 3
13:25 - 6, 8
14:00 - 4
14:35 - 2
15:10 - 1, 7
15:45 - 7, 10

= 16 lines

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