Alex Hammond Blog: Rain Dance Required for L’Homme Press at Kempton in King George | race news

Alex Hammond Blog: Rain Dance Required for L’Homme Press at Kempton in King George | race news

#Alex #Hammond #Blog #Rain #Dance #Required #LHomme #Press #Kempton #King #George #race #news Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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InNewCL Sports Racing presenter Alex Hammond is back with her Christmas blog targeting the King George, Long Walk Hurdle and the Welsh Grand National.

Along with all the Christmas hustle and bustle at the Hammond house, there are some serious races to look forward to during the festive season. It’s no wonder my house guests are leaving on Boxing Day as I’m not a great host if I come at lunchtime on the 26th.

After losing so many games over the past few weeks, a ravenous racing feast is upon us, and you’ll need eyes in the back of your mind and fresh batteries in your remote to get through it.

The center of attention on Boxing Day is Kempton where the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase takes center stage. Bravemansgame are Sky Bet’s 13/8 favourites, with his stablemates Hitman at 9/2 and Frodon at 16 seconds to repeat his 2020 win.

I don’t have to tell you that their coach, Paul Nicholls, has an affinity for this competition. If one of this trio prevails, it will be their 13th win of the race. Almost time to commission a statue!

I’ve been a fan of L’Homme Presse and have been since he set foot on British soil. Hopefully the ground is soft enough for the Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old, who comes here after taking the old-fashioned route of carrying a big weight in a handicap to success.

He almost gave the runner up two stones when he won Newcastle’s Rehearsal Chase a month ago, it was an achievement and I love him (almost as much as documenting!).

Bravemansgame and Harry Cobden jump to victory at the Charlie Hall Chase

Image: Bravemansgame and Harry Cobden leap to victory at the Charlie Hall Chase

He’s 2/1 second favorite and I’m about to do a Kempton rain dance. It’s good to see the Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle saved from Ascot’s recently canceled Christmas game and it means we should get a chance to see old boys Champ and Paisley Park square off again.

They’re first and third in the bet (2/1 and 3/1 respectively) and there’s only a pound between them on ratings, with Champ slightly superior.

Paul Nicholls-trained mare Miranda is the second favorite at 9/4 but has yet to find anything on the official ratings.

Gary Moore entered Botox and the enigmatic Goshen. Goshen could be an intriguing runner when he goes up to three miles for the first time.

Paisley Park

Image: Paisley Park

You can’t ignore the underdog Not So Sleepy either. Last year’s joint winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle (with Epatante) is unpredictable but talented and able to shake a few feathers on his day.

He wasn’t an opponent for Constitution Hill this year, but who is?! Like Goshen, he has yet to make a journey that far, but he stays on the flat for over two miles so there is hope.

At 14/1, if five or more of the six entries are declared, it’s worth considering running into.

Christmas corral a present for Constitution Hill?

This year’s Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle is akin to an expensive gift that you thought would be the center of your world but find you aren’t getting good value for your money.

That’s not to say your eyes won’t light up when you unwrap it, because this bad boy is sprinkled with stardust. Constitution Hill is that glittering gift and maybe we just have to get used to the fact that he’s in a different stratosphere to everything else and his races won’t be competitive.

constitution hill

Image: Constitution Hill

Does that matter, not really. Like this impractical gift, it is exciting and beautiful and you are happy to have it in your life. He is 1/5 favorite to win again.

Tuesday’s Coral Welsh Grand National in Chepstow is like that Christmas present you didn’t know you wanted and have unexpectedly found to be one of the most useful and entertaining.

Unlike many of the less competitive offerings these few days, it’s a gamer’s dream. With 51 entries it looks like there is a maximum field of 20 and that gives us a lot of options.

Venetia Williams is no stranger to the race thanks to Jocks Cross in 2000 and Emperor’s Choice in 2014 and has a strong hand in 2022.

Quick Wave is Sky Bet’s 5/1 favorite for a reason. This mare has excelled since hunting and the move to marathon travel has shaped her.

She’s also unbeaten in two starts since undergoing wind surgery and has ridden relatively easily for a nine-year-old. It’s hard to find too many negatives about them, apart from the price in such a competitive competition.

Ask me early to fight back Chepstow?

Ask Me Early was a strong fondness for this race in 2021 before a nasty school crash at home took care of it. He hasn’t shown the same shine in two starts since then but has every right to be sharper when he returns to Bangor in early November.

That’s his goal since he’s back and it’s hard for me to leave him off my shortlist. Irish trainer Peter Fahey has made it a habit to get on well with the horses he has brought with him to race in Britain.

It was also profitable to follow all of his traveling runners. This year’s strike rate is 38% and if you supported all of his runners here in the UK you would have made £8.88 profit on a £1 stake.

For that reason alone, The Big Dog should be on your radar. The fact that he has won two notable permanent handicap chases in his native Ireland also lends credence to his claims. The handicapper hit him pretty hard though and he’s put on 18 pounds for his wins at the Munster National and Troytown.

However, it may not be enough to stop him. He was tied up for this race last year when a howling mistake in the open ditch on the home stretch with a distance to go meant he was pulled soon after.

He had helped out in his own sweet time early in the race but was noticeably well on his way at the time of the mistake and is coming into the calculations again.

The Galloping Bear is another horse made for this race. His trainer, Ben Clarke, is making a name for himself with consistent pursuers and this horse has helped.

It is unfortunate that he was disqualified from first place at the Grand National Trial at Haydock in February after testing positive for a banned substance on race day, with cross-contamination being cited as the likely cause.

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Ireland manager Peter Fahey is hoping for better luck this time with Welsh Grand National contender The Big Dog, live on InNewCL Sports Racing.

He also missed this race last year after shooting poorly a few days earlier and provided the ground is soft or worse he will run well. He seems able to perform well at his current handicap rating and when it rains he’s one of my leading contenders. I’m afraid that’s unfortunately not the case.

The forecast is promising for those who live in the area and fancy some relaxing walks over Christmas, but there may not be enough rain to make it the test it needs. Last year’s winner was Iwilldoit, who gave the Welsh coaches their third consecutive win at the competition.

It was Sam Thomas’ turn to lift the trophy and if this horse defends his crown it will be his first time running since that famous win. The race is held in Kim Gingell’s memory, so there won’t be a dry eye when her brother Joe Tizzard wins it with The Big Breakaway.

This horse looked like he was going to be a superstar early in his career, but he hasn’t quite realized that potential yet.

Iwilldoit jumps clear of the field last at Chepstow in the Welsh National

Image: Iwilldoit jumps off the field last at Chepstow in the Welsh National

However, his court has struggled for form during their winless streak and things are looking better now. That sort of endurance test might be just what he’s clamoring for and he did well in his debut of the season at Haydock last month.

He was outrageously expensive as a four-year-old (360,000 euros) and now, three years later, it might be time to shine. He’s 12/1 with Sky Bet.

I wish you a contemplative time over the holidays and lots of fun doing sports, let’s hope the weather doesn’t get in the way. See you in Chepstow on the 27th.

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