Boxing Day Racing Tips: Back Oscar to show his Magic at Kempton

Nigel Twiston-Davies trains Oscar Magic
Nigel Twiston-Davies trains Oscar Magic

Older and wiser, but with a little less hair, Tony Calvin has done away with the beer goggles as he goes in search of some more big prices winners in Boxing Day's televised races...

Recommended Bets

Back Oscar Magic @ 17.016/1 or better - 13:25 Kempton

Back Tullamore Dew @ 13.012/1 or better - 13:45 Wetherby


Studying the King George reminded me of my younger days at the Racing Post when the hair was thicker - well actually I was known as "Slap" when I was still in my teens there - the body was leaner, and I had a surprisingly high strike rate, even well outside of selling company.

Because I was taken back to the last throes of parties and closing times in pubs and clubs, when thinking: "Any value left in getting involved here has long gone."

Of course, it didn't always pan out like that.

But, as we should be making our betting decisions without the aid of what were known in the 80s and 90s as "beer goggles", we should be honest with ourselves and admit that all of the attractive options in this particular field have long since left the building.

So good luck to those of you who backed Cue Card and Dynaste at an ante-post high of 14.013/1 on Betfair, and the likes of Al Ferof at 24.023/1, but I really can't see a tempting bet in this well-established market.

My two against the field would be Silviniaco Conti at around the 6.05/1 mark - it wouldn't be the greatest surprise to see him challenge for favouritism should there be further rain - and Mount Benbulben at odds of 18.017/1 or bigger.

But I genuinely wouldn't be that shocked if any of the field bar Champion Court won the Kempton showpiece, and you have to remember that even he traded at an in-running low of 1.511/2 in the race last year and he is no forlorn hope.

And that pretty much sets the stage for most of this Kempton card.

There is not much of an edge taking on the hugely promising Just A Par in the Feltham - even though it must be a slight concern for his odds-on backers that Paul Nicholls said that he didn't strike him as a Kempton horse immediately after the horse won at Newbury - and the Christmas Hurdle is very much a match.

I think the market has got it right in making The New One the slight favourite, so that race is also quickly passed over too.


13:25 Kempton - Oscar Magic

However, I am going to get involved in the 13:25 and suggest a bet on Oscar Magic at odds of 17.016/1 or bigger. He would be far, far shorter in my book.

He has proved pretty disappointing in his three starts over hurdles this season - his Newton Abbot win at 1-10 was none too impressive - but at least his seventh in a handicap hurdle at Sandown last time convinced connections that the time has finally come to switch him to fences.

The Twiston-Davies camp have always viewed the horse as a chaser, and to that end it was obviously promising to see him win over the brush hurdles at Haydock back in March.

I think the horse makes his chasing debut off a very fair mark on 128, and he doesn't have many miles on the clock, having started his career with a bumper win here two years ago, so let's hope he can blossom over fences.


13:45 Wetherby - Tullamore Dew

Even though he is racing from 3lb out of the handicap, I give Tullamore Dew a fair shot in the Rowland Meyrick and he rates a bet at odds of 13.012/1 or bigger.

He wouldn't be the most consistent of horses, but he is very fairly weighted on some of his old form - notably when just touched off by Massini's Maguire at Ascot in February 2012 - and I liked the way he stuck to his task when third at Cheltenham on his reappearance.

He is adaptable ground-wise, if the conditions do get really testing, this is his best trip, and I can see him going well off bottom weight.

I'd be most scared of Cloudy Too, and I wouldn't put anybody off having a saver on him at around the 6.05/1 mark.

He looked progressive before possibly not lasting home in the Hennessy last time, and he would probably be my idea of the favourite here, and not Sydney Paget. But Tullamore Dew will do for me.

Which just leaves me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - your support has been much-welcomed since we started this column at the Grand National meeting back in April.

So have a good one. And don't let those beer goggles lead you astray!


Recommended Bets

Back Oscar Magic @ 17.016/1 or better - 13:25 Kempton
Back Tullamore Dew @ 13.012/1 or better - 13:45 Wetherby


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