Boxing Day Racing Tips: Three to play from the festive fare at Kempton and Wetherby

jumps horse Ch'tibello
Ch'tibello looks a solid play to Tony

Tony Calvin was on the money with 12/1 Not So Sleepy a winner on Saturday and he takes aim at Thursday's high-class racing with a trio to follow...

"Soft ground is ideal and, as he is just 5lb higher than when winning at Stratford and unexposed as a stayer, I think he is set to go close off his light weight."

Back co at 8/1 each way in 14:10 at Wetherby

Kempton has class but Wetherby offers best hope of a win

This is the first time in years when I don't have to be at Kempton on Boxing Day, but I am looking to Wetherby for my best Yuletide punt.

Back Rocco in the Rowland Meyrick at 8/1, each way, with the Betfair Sportsbook in the 14:10.

This is a big step up in class for him but he is obviously weighted accordingly, and I very much like the angle of him stepping back up in trip.

All his recent form has come over shorter, and his best effort came when beating subsequent scorer King's Odyssey over 2m3f98yd at Stratford in October, but he certainly has shaped as though this extra distance wouldn't come amiss of late.

That was particularly true of his staying-on second over an extended 2m6f at Leicester last time, and that shouldn't have come as a surprise given he is a winning pointer who ran an excellent race when third in a Grade 2 3m novices' hurdle at Cheltenham this time last season.

Soft ground is ideal and, as he is just 5lb higher than when winning at Stratford and unexposed as a stayer, I think he is set to go close off his light weight.

Back to Kempton for the four other ITV races, where obviously the King George at 15:05 takes centre stage.

It is obviously a quality renewal but I can't get excited about it as a betting medium, as I don't have any issue with Cyrname and Lostintranslation (below) fighting it out for favouritism and none of the other four are temptingly priced up.

Lostintranslation 1280.jpg

It's your classic watch-not-bet race but not so the Christmas Hurdle at 14:30 where I am keen to take on Fusil Raffles at the top of the market.

With what is obviously the key question to answer and Silver Streak at 12/1+ on the exchange would certainly have been my answer on better ground, as I have backed him for the Champion Hurdle after what I thought was a seriously promising third in the Fighting Fifth.

But soft conditions are not his ideal bag - and more rain is forecast - so I have to side with Ch'tibello win and place at 13.012/1 and 3.55/2, or bigger, respectively.

He is second only to Verdana Blue (she probably deserves to be shorter than 5/1, even allowing for the ground) on official ratings and comes here on the back of an excellent return third to Call Me Lord and Ballyandy in the International.

By all accounts, he was straight for that reappearance run, so he isn't thought likely to come on for the run fitness-wise, but his last three runs after a wind op have been among the best of his career and he just looks very solid to me, with the ground no issue.

He ran a blinder when third in this race in 2016 when rated just 145 and up against far more highly-rated horses and he simply looks over-priced.

He is clearly vulnerable to one of the younger improvers but he has the form in the book, and that will do for me.

Having small stakes on a Special one

The Kauto Star Novices' Chase at 13:55 looks a very trappy betting heat, not least because there are only seven runners and so the each-way angle is missing.

With eight runners, Jarveys Plate could have been worth a nibble at 16/1 as apparently he had a bad trip up to Haydock last time when disappointing and his earlier Chepstow win reads well, with connections reporting that the step up to 3m, with cheek pieces on, is expected to suit.

But he could lack the class of one or two of these.

No, give me a handicap any day of the week, and the 12-runner contest at 13:20 gets the ball rolling on ITV.

Roll Again won as he liked at Ludlow last time and has to feared here under a 7lb penalty, but he guessed at a fair few that day and it isn't hard to see him coming a cropper if doing the same around here.

I am happy to take him on each-way, with the Betfair Sportsbook paying four places, and Envoye Special catches my eye to small stakes at 18/1.

I thought he shaped a bit better than his beaten distance suggested on his reappearance at Sandown last time, and he was dropped 2lb for it. He was rated 137 when coming over from France (where he had form in deep ground) but he is now down to 129.

He was a distant sixth in this race last season but he has better claims than odds of 18/1 suggest on his second over 2m here in a good time back in March. He does need to settle better to last home over this longer trip but the chance is worth taking.

I was tempted by a couple in the concluding 2m5f handicap hurdle, where the Sportsbook are paying five places, but I will stick to the ITV races, with Rocco my bet of the day.

Have a good one.

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