Who is likely to win the major races at Kempton this weekend?


Pic D’Orhy and Saint Calvados lead a field of six in Saturday’s Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton (2.05), where champion trainer Paul Nicholls could saddle two runners.

The last time Pic D’Orhy was seen was when he won the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon last month, finishing two lengths ahead of Millers Bank. He is a 33-1 favorite for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old horse is 2-2 this season. On his seasonal return in October, he also won a 2m5f intermediate chase at Newton Abbot.

Nicholls has won this race twice in the past three years, and Saint Calvados, owned by David Maxwell, may take advantage of the opportunity to run for the first time since coming in second place out of two in the 1965 Chase at Ascot in November.

Evan Williams, who is aiming for his first victory in the race, could be represented by Coole Cody, who defeated Saint Calvados that day.

Coole Cody competed twice at Cheltenham prior to his victory at Ascot, finishing seventh of 13 in a handicap hurdle over 2 miles 4 feet before pulling up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Clondaw Castle, a 160-rated Paint The Dream and Betfair Chase fourth seed, could compete, and Angels Breath has an opportunity to make his stable debut since joining the Sam Thomas yard from Nicky Henderson and making his first start since December 2019.

There are 27 entries in Kempton’s Lanzarote Hurdle (2.40), including the Camprond, trained by Philip Hobbs, and the Nicholls duo of Outlaw Peter and Red Risk.

Camprond, owned by JP McManus, is going back to hurdles after failing to get going over fences in either of his two starts this season.

With a 19-length victory at Exeter two months ago, Outlaw Peter made it three wins from eight career starts. Red Risk also won on their most recent appearances.

Pentland Hills, Henderson’s Grade 1 winner, could return, and the Seven Barrows trainer might also ride Captain Morgs and Rathmacknee.

Another possibility is the West Balboa, trained by Skelton, who finished second to Stage Star in the 2021 renewal of the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle.

Dubrovnik Harry, Fifty Ball, Le Patron, and Mark Of Gold, on the other hand, could represent Gary Moore in the competition.

Silviniaco Conti Chase entries
Angels Breath, Sam Thomas
Clondaw Castle, Tom George
Coole Cody, Evan Williams
Paint The Dream, Fergal O’Brien
Pic D’Orhy, Paul Nicholls
Saint Calvados, Paul Nicholls


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Kempton Park, Monday December 26th

The ground was soft and tacky on King George V1 Day

Christmas Hurdle, 2m

Constitution Hill gave Nicky Henderson his eleventh winner in this Grade 1 event. What a hurdler he is! He made his 17 length victory look very easy. Considering this is only his fifth lifetime start, this 5 year old is a class hurdler and the terrifying thing is we don’t yet know how good he actually could be. He will likely now go straight to the Champion Hurdle after this.

Epatante ran a cracking race to finish runner up. She put in a challenge off the final bend, but is simply not in the same class of her stable companion.

Highway One O Two put in a lifetime best to finish third.

Sceau Royal looked a little uncomfortable on the softer ground.

King George V1 Chase, 3m

Bravemansgame beat a top-class field assembled for this Grade 1. His victory at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase made him only the eighth horse to complete the double since 1983. His jockey decided to take a wide course to give himself space, but even when L’Homme Presse jumped across him it didn’t cause any issues. He then came from wide into the straight and galloped on magnificently. He will now go straight for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

L’Homme Presse led on the wrong leg throughout which meant he jumped out towards his left. He commanded the lead down the back and looked to have a great chance. However, once he was headed he shifted to his left and made a real mess of the last.  He’s a horse that will need to go the other way around and they consider the Cotswolds Chase at Cheltenham or the Denman at Newbury.

Royale Pagaille ran a cracking race. He jumped well and was always in the mix, only lacking the pace at the 3rd last.

Frodon ran another decent race to finish third, never knowing when he is beat.

Eldorado Allen could not compete but finished the race well.

Ahoy Senor probably did’t enjoy the tight right-handed track.

Envoi Allen was not helped by the false start and may have lost interest when in the rear.


Novice Limited Handicap Chase, 2m, 4f

Balco Coastal cruise his way round, dominating from early. The handicapper will unlikely be able to stop this one from following up.

Solo came with a well-timed challenge after two fences out, but could do nothing to get close.

Panic Attack ran impressively when stepping up in grade and could have more to offer.

Performance Of The Day


Horse to Note

The Bomber Liston


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Kempton Park, Monday December 26th

The ground was soft and tacky on King George V1 Day

Novice Hurdle, Class 2, 2m

The front two dominated the finish.

Rare Edition continued his unbeaten record with a competent display. Up near the front his jumping was smart and he asserted round the final corner. He dominated the finish in very impressive fashion, and pulled away to win by 7 lengths.

Rubaud ran the finest race of his career so far and will certainly have a future as a chaser. He was a little headstrong at the start but settled into a good rhythm and cleared the hurdles with ease. However, in the home stretch he couldn’t quicken to challenge the impressive winner.  This is a horse with a good future.

Off To A Flyer ran a cracking race from the back to get third. He is a 3-mile chaser in the making.

Throne Hall did make a couple of mistakes but still ran well when stepping up to get fourth.

Mamoon StarFather Of Jazz  and Iberico Lord all looked fit, with Iberico Lord tiring and falling at the last.

Long Walk Hurdle, 3m

Paisley Park rolled back the years to take win this one. This 10yo looked like he might be in a bit of trouble but his desire to win came through and he won going away. The Cleeve Hurdle looks set to be his next appearance.

Goshen kept on marvelousley in his first start at 3 miles. He was a shade keen in the early stages, but settled under a good pace. He moved up the field and looked a real threat off the top bend fighting right to the line. With him only rising 7 there is a future for him at this trip.

Champ came here after a good win at Newbury. He shifted to his left throughout, but was still in with a massive chance at the second last. He continued to hang over to his left and had no extra for the closing stages.

Miranda and Not So Sleepy both looked good but unable to compete.


Kauto Star Novice Chase, 3m

This was a fairly weak Grade 1 and would advise a little caution over Thyme Hill‘s form after the win. Having been fitted with first-time cheekpieces on softer ground, he jumped very well throughout and his stamina was a level above.

Mcfabulous looked great in his normal front-running role. His jumping was smart throughout, but close to the line he couldn’t stay with the winner.

None of Mortlach, Gelino Bello and Galia Des Liteaux jumped well enough.


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