Through The Card: Kempton, Sunday December 27

There's a cracking card at Kempton on Sunday
There's a cracking card at Kempton on Sunday

Timeform take you through the card at Kempton on Sunday, highlighting the best bets and a suggested Placepot permutation.

"The promising Two Taffs has displayed plenty of ability during his burgeoning career, putting up an especially-encouraging performance here last time, and he is confidently expected to make a successful handicap debut."

12:50- Favorito Buck's is clearly of interest having won a listed newcomers' event in France prior to joining Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, but he does have to give weight away and comes up against some interesting rivals, notably the Dan Skelton-trained Ashoka. Ashoka showed fairly useful form on the Flat for Mick Halford, finishing placed on all three starts, and he looks sure to do well over hurdles based on his impressive debut over timber at Warwick. He was in a different league to his rivals at Warwick, value for more than double the winning margin, and is one to follow in this sphere. Fair Flat performer Duke of Medina got off the mark over hurdles in good style at Market Rasen and could be one for the Placepot permutation.

13.25- Ar Mad was undeniably impressive at Sandown, putting up one of the best performances from a novice chaser so far this season, though he was seen to great effect under an aggressive front-running ride that day and may struggle to fend off the classy Vaniteux who won well on his chasing bow over this C&D. Vaniteux was a smart hurdler and, possessing the size and scope to do well over fences, there's no reason why he can't prove even better as a chaser. Ar Mad is sure to launch a bold bid from the front, but Nico de Boinville will surely be wise to the tactics and is unlikely to allow Ar Mad to establish a clear advantage. Vaniteux can prove too strong.

14.00- Sprinter Sacre was entitled to win well on his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham, receiving weight from inferior rivals, but you had to be impressed by the manner with which he scored, always travelling strongly and jumping boldly. Sprinter Sacre may never scale the same sort of heights which saw him rated the third-highest-rated chaser in Timeform's history, but he showed enough swagger at Cheltenham to suggest that he can remain a threat at the highest level. Those tackling the Placepot may prefer to side with Tingle Creek winner Sire de Grugy and the consistent Vibrato Valtat as Sprinter Sacre is sure to dominate the pool and hardly boasts a bombproof profile, for all he should prove far too good if on song.

14.35- This is a competitive, trappy race, featuring a number of contenders with legitimate claims. The Last Samuri caught the eye staying on well to finish third in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on his first start for Kim Bailey, shaping with enough promise to suggest he will be winning shortly, and he is clearly on a fair mark at present. There are dangers aplenty, however, headed by the likes of Foxbridge, Ballyheigue Bay and Ned Stark. The last-named is of particular interest as he has contested some prestigious, top-end handicaps, often catching the eye with how he travels through the race, and this is an easier opportunity than the last few he has faced.

15.10- Desert Queen spread-eagled the field when winning at Ascot last time, doing well to maintain a strong gallop, and she should prove difficult to beat if in similar form this time around. That Ascot effort was a clear career best from Desert Queen but there's no reason to doubt the performance given the mare's unexposed profile, whilst the form has already started to work out with the third subsequently winning a listed race at Haydock. Desert Queen has proven headstrong in the past, however, and has thrown in a couple of poor efforts, so, whilst the likely winner, she may be worth opposing in the Placepot with Tara Mist, who looks sure to relish this kind of test, and Broxbourne, who had looked progressive prior to disappointing at Cheltenham last time.

15.40- The promising Two Taffs has displayed plenty of ability during his burgeoning career, putting up an especially-encouraging performance here last time, and he is confidently expected to make a successful handicap debut. The novices' hurdle in which Two Taffs finished runner-up here last time looked like an above-average affair and the handicapper could have taken a higher view of the form. As it is, though, Two Taffs has been allotted a generous opening mark and, with further improvement on the cards, Dan Skelton's exciting young hurdler is expected to win. After Eight Sivola was readily brushed aside at Bangor last time but possibly found the test placing too much emphasis on stamina, and he looks likely to appreciate this return to the minimum trip.

Recommended Bets:
1pt win Ashoka @ 3.711/4 in the 12:50
0.5pt win The Last Samuri @ 6.86/1 in the 14:35
0.5pt win Ned Stark @ 7.26/1 in the 14:35
2pt win Two Taffs @ 4.77/2 in the 15:40

Recommended Placepot perm:
12:50- 3, 5
13:25- 4
14:00- 1, 3
14:35- 4, 5
15:10- 2, 6
15:40- 6, 8
= 32 lines

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