Boxing Day Kempton Preview – Kauto Star Novices’ Chase
Analysis of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase
Kempton host a trio of top-class Grade 1 contests this Boxing Day, including the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. Our tipsters have provided their thoughts on each individual runner as well as a tip for the race included.
Ahoy Senor 5/4
Lucinda Russell has made no secret in how high she regards AHOY SENOR and her six-year-old has cemented himself as a Novice of immense talent after previously causing a shock in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree earlier this year to defeat Bravemansgame at 66/1.
The six-year-old returned in October at Carlisle on the first start over fences and was in the process of running a huge race in the Listed contest until coming to grief two from home and unseating jockey Derek Fox behind subsequent Ladbrokes Trophy Chase runner-up Fiddlerontheroof.
Lucinda Russell’s charge made no mistake second time up and dominated proceedings at Newbury to take Grade 2 honours in front of Irish raider Mr Incredible by a massive 31l.
There is no doubt Ahoy Senor is an exciting novice and he is already a 6/1 chance for the Festival Novices chase at next years Cheltenham Festival. However, he may have to jump slicker if he is going to register another Grade 1 success.
Paul Nicholls has always been of the opinion that BRAVEMANSGAME would make a better chaser than hurdler and despite being a Grade 1 over hurdles, he appears to be spot on from what we have seen so far over fences from the John Dance and Bryan Drew owned gelding.
Bravemansgame was no match for Bob Olinger in the Ballymore at the Festival and finished behind Ahoy Senor at Aintree on his final start over the smaller obstacles. However, he has looked a different animal over the larger obstacles and readily put his name down as a leading Novice to follow when dismantling his rivals at Newton Abbot and most recently at Haydock where Harry Cobden barely had to move a muscle to pull clear from the field.
What has impressed most is Bravemansgames fluency over his fences and that will be a huge asset to have against several rivals who have shown their frailties over the larger obstacles. Ahoy Senor will be a tough challenger but Paul Nicholls’ charge may gain his revenge and have the slight edge on Boxing Day.
Kiltealy Briggs 25/1
KILTEALY BRIGGS finally got off the mark over fences last time out at Haydock when just getting the better of the argument with Mint Condition. However, he looks to be up against it on the form of his previous runs in handicap company and shouldn’t be troubling the judge.
Tea Clipper 16/1
TEA CLIPPER made a taking impression when beating Fidelio Vallis on return at Chepstow over fences by 6l in October and jumped superbly in the hands of Stan Sheppard in that Listed event.
However, he was fortunate to finish second last time out when carrying a penalty after the departures of Pic D’Orhy and Millers Bank late on in the Grade 2 Newbury Novice contest in November.
The return to 3miles will help aid his cause this time around but he has his work cut out to go close in this event with the majority of his rivals achieving more in recent starts.
Big Race Verdict
This should be an exciting clash between two of the leading novice prospects in the country. Ahoy Senor had the measure of BRAVEMANSGAME when the pair clashed at Aintree over hurdles but Paul Nicholls’ charge has looked the most natural of jumpers since going chasing and the vastly improving six-year-old could have all his rivals in trouble on Boxing Day.