Timeform Shortlist: Kempton, Wednesday 26 December

Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls knows exactly what it takes to win the King George VI Chase
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Timeform's free shortlist comes from Kempton on Boxing Day, and includes the King George VI Chase...

"...took the step up to Grade 1 level in his stride at Ascot in February and is selected to make light of an absence (has good record fresh)..."

Timeform on Waiting Patiently

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12.50 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle (2) 2m
Timeform Rating of previous winners: 148 161 175 163 160 (Avg 161)

Analyst's Verdict:
Aside from their defeats in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, Didtheyleaveuoutto and The Big Bite are otherwise unbeaten. The latter has barely broken sweat in his 2 starts in this sphere but there's more substance to the form of Didtheyleaveuoutto, who got the better of the re-opposing Thomas Darby at Ascot last month. Mister Fisher should build on his hurdles debut and is also feared.

Timeform Top Rated:
147p 2. THE BIG BITE Tom George Noel Fehily
146p 4. THOMAS DARBY Olly Murphy Richard Johnson
143p 1. DIDTHEYLEAVEUOUTTO Nick Gifford Barry Geraghty


1.20 32Red.com Chase (Novices' Limited Handicap) (3) 2½m110y

Analyst's Verdict:
Nicky Henderson fields two live contenders in Turtle Wars and Lough Derg Spirit. The latter was the best of these over hurdles and isn't passed over lightly but his stablemate appeals as the type to make a better chaser and, if none the worse for his unfortunate experience on debut in this sphere at Sandown, Turtle Wars could be the answer. Envoye Special and Glen Forsa are others to consider.

Timeform Top Rated:
152p 5. LOUGH DERG SPIRIT Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
151p 7. ENVOYE SPECIAL Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden
149+ 11. AWAKE AT MIDNIGHT Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson


1.55 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (1) 3m
Timeform Rating of previous winners: 163 173 164 157 165 (Avg 164)

Analyst's Verdict:
Santini was one of the best staying novice hurdlers around last season and barely put a foot wrong on chase debut at Newbury. Already favourite for the RSA at Cheltenham in March, the 6-y-o could go right to the top of the tree in this sphere and will prove hard to beat here. Topofthegame shaped well over an inadequate trip on his chase debut and is next best ahead of Bags Groove.

Timeform Top Rated:
168p 4. SANTINI Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
166 5. THE WORLDS END Tom George Gavin Sheehan
165 1. BAGS GROOVE Harry Fry Noel


2.30 Unibet Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) (1) 2m
Timeform Rating of previous winners: 178 180 164 170 167 (Avg 172)

Analyst's Verdict:
Buveur d'Air produced one of the best hurdle performances of recent times when slamming Samcro in the Fighting Fifth and can replicate last year's easy win in this race. Stablemate Verdana Blue is taken to fill the forecast spot.

Timeform Top Rated:
184 2. BUVEUR D'AIR Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
172+ 5. VERDANA BLUE Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
163+ 4. IF THE CAP FITS Harry Fry Noel Fehily


3.05 32Red King George Vi Chase (Grade 1) (1) 3m
Timeform Rating of previous winners: 182 179 192 185 172 (Avg 182)

Analyst's Verdict:
Waiting Patiently took the step up to Grade 1 level in his stride at Ascot in February and is selected to make light of an absence (has good record fresh) and extend his unbeaten chase record to 7. Paul Nicholls has won this 9 times and Politologue could be a big threat if his stamina holds up in trip, while last year's winner Might Bite is much better than he showed on his reappearance.

Timeform Top Rated:
183 6. NATIVE RIVER Colin Tizzard Richard Johnson
181 5. MIGHT BITE Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
180 1. BRISTOL DE MAI Nigel Twiston-Davies Daryl Jacob


3.40 32Red Download The App Handicap Hurdle (3) 2m5f

Analyst's Verdict:
A tricky race with Divin Bere the selection. He struggled in a light campaign last season but recent efforts have been more encouraging and he should go well if proving his stamina over this new trip. Ballyandy is feared on his return to hurdling, with Colonial Dreams and Stowaway Magic others to consider.

Timeform Top Rated:
151 3. DIVIN BERE Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden
150 1. BALLYANDY Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
149 12. CRYSTAL LAD Gary Moore Jonathan Burke


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