Kempton tips Friday 27 December – Race-by-race selections for day two of the Christmas Festival

Brian Healy looks over the day two Kempton Christmas Festival racecard and gives his selections in every race.

There might not be any Grade One contests on Friday’s card at Kempton, but the second day of the Christmas Festival at the Sunbury track has plenty to look forward to for punters with two Grade Two contests as well as some competitive handicap action on the agenda.

The feature race of the day is the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase, where Sceau Royal bids to get back to winning ways; while the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase features some exciting up-and-coming sorts.

12:45 – Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Introductory Juvenile Hurdle Cl2 (3yo) 2m
1:20 – Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m
1:55 – Ladbrokes Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m½f
2:30 – Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m
3:05 – Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 3m
3:35 – Ladbrokes Football “Acca-Boosty” Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-140) 2m

Brian Healy looks through Friday’s six-race card at Kempton and gives his race-by-race selections for day two of their Christmas highlight.

12:45 – Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Introductory Juvenile Hurdle Cl2 (3yo) 2m

KINGS ROYAL HUSSAR (8/1, William Hill) offered plenty to work with on his hurdles debut at Market Rasen earlier in the month, and Alan King’s charge can put the experience to good use to get off the mark at the second attempt.

The Zebedee gelding was useful on the flat without managing to win, but he did make the frame on several occasions, and he shaped well switched to timber where he finished around ten lengths’ third behind Lord Lamington.

He shaped as if he might want a stiffer test, so a quick two miles around here isn’t certain to suit; but he showed enough in that first outing to suggest he can win races, and open to improvement with that outing under his belt then he can get competitive here.

Alan King

Alan King can saddle a winner at Kempton on Friday.

1:20 – Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m

A prolific winner in France, FANION D’ESTRUVAL (7/4, Unibet) carried on where he left off having left Guillame Macaire in the wake of a winning hat-trick to strike at the first time of asking for his new handler Venetia Williams, and the Enrique gelding can improve for that outing to follow up here.

Having struck chase wins at Toulouse and Auteuil prior to switching to the in-form Williams, he was an impressive winner when beating Sully D’oc Aa at Newbury on his debut for his new yard last month, running out an easy six lengths’ winner.

That form looks only fair, and this is clearly a much tougher test as he steps up markedly in grade. However, he likely has plenty more to offer, and the manner of that success last time suggested he was a potentially smart sort so it would be no surprise to see a big run from him.

Soft groud has proven to be no problem, and he receives weight all round from this field so every chance that he can take advantage of his concession and find further progress to continue his winning run.

1:55 – Ladbrokes Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m½f

Culture De Sivola won this race twelve months ago from a lower handicap mark, but she could prove vulnerable off this rating despite taking a step back in the right direction latest, and COILLTE EILE (6/1, Bet365) can follow up her most recent success which also came on her latest start.

The Stowaway mare has won two of her last three starts, scoring at Aintree in June before shaping as if amiss at Cartmel the following month, and she returned from a break to readily resume winning ways at Ascot last month with a defeat of Drinks Interval.

Dr Richard Newland’s charge struck by almost three lengths on that latest occasion, and the runner-up from that race has since made the frame in Listed company to give the form something of a boost.

This is a tougher test as she steps up in grade to a Class Two contest, but the manner in which she took that last win suggested that she could have more to come, and a subsequent 5lbs rise remains workable with Cillian Leonard’s 7lbs claim set to offset that rise.

She is still relatively unexposed over this longer trip, and with the scope for further potential she looks worth chancing here to strike again.

Coillte Eile can win at Kempton on Friday.

2:30 – Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m

The absence of Altior takes away some of the allure of this contest, and SCEAU ROYAL (11/8, Ladbrokes) can build on his reappearance in the recent Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown which was probably needed by the Doctor Dino gelding.

Alan King’s charge proved himself to be a high-class chaser in the past couple of campaigns, winning four of his five starts during the 2017/18 season, and having won on his reapperance last term he was far from disgraced in defeat in four subsequent starts which include twice behind Altior in Grade Ones at Cheltenham and Sandown.

He was a shade disappointing on his return earlier in the month, not always fluent and running as if in need of the outing; but he should strip a lot fitter now, and he will likely prove a different proposition this time around.

The highest-rated in the field, he has to concede 3lbs and more to his rivals, but likely to step up for his reappearance then he can get back to winning ways in what looks a relatively weak renewal.

3:05 – Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 3m

Smart chaser SAMETEGAL (6/1, Coral) found only Benny’s King too strong on his reappearance from a long absence at Newbury last month, and Paul Nicholls’ charge can go one better here if none the worse for that return.

The Saint Des Saints gelding was a Newbury winner back in March 2016, scoring in the Grade Three Greatwood Gold Cup, and he showed he retained all his ability when returning from a 600-day absence in the 2017/18 season with a trio of in-the-frame efforts in competitive handicap company, and he rounded off that season finishing eighth to Ballydine at Sandown.

Not seen out again for 665 days until his latest reapperance, he shaped really well to finish six lengths’ second, running on well, and if he can build on that effort then he could get back on the scoresheet from this mark which leaves him still well-treated on his previous form.

Sametegal (right) can get back on the winning trail at Kempton on Friday.

3:35 – Ladbrokes Football “Acca-Boosty” Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-140) 2m

GOLDEN TAIPAN (6/1, William Hill) has returned from a break in very good fettle, winning two of his three starts which includes here latest when running out a narrow winner over Namib Dancer.

The Golden Lariat gelding has also won at Huntingdon back in October, although he was a shade disappointing inbetween wins when tried in a Listed contest. However, he appeared to score a shade readily latest, and that form has been boosted since so he could have more to offer as he switches to handicapping from a potentially workable mark.

A mark of 130 looks workable indeed given he has the potential to improve further, and while this is a tougher test of his credentials he likely has more to offer and every chance he can make his presence felt again back at the scene of his latest success.


12:45 – KINGS ROYAL HUSSAR (8/1, William Hill)
1:20 – FANION D’ESTRUVAL (7/4, Unibet)
1:55 – COILLTE EILE (6/1, Bet365)
2:30 – SCEAU ROYAL (11/8, Ladbrokes)
3:05 – SAMETEGAL (6/1, Coral)
3:35 – GOLDEN TAIPAN (6/1, William Hill)