RACING POST CHRISTMAS EVE SATURDAY DECEMBER 24th 2011
RACING POST WEEK MONDAY 19th TO SUNDAY 25th DECEMBER CHRISTMAS DAY
RP HISTORIC MASTERPIECE - DON'T MISS IT -
STUDY AND LEARN
RP A KEY PART OF YOUR HORSERACING ADVENTURE
MONTY ROBERTS and BLUSHING ET JOIN UP
THE OLDEST - YET THE VERY LATEST ADDITION TO A TRULY REMARKABLE SPORT
Josh Gifford Team
RACING POST AND C4 LIVE
RETURN ON 'S SPECTACULAR DAY OF ACTION. BOXING DAY FOR KEMPTON PARK
C4 LIVE THE MORNING LINE 8.30am to 9.25am
C4 LIVE AFTERNOON ACTION 1.15 - 3.40pm FROM
1.50. 2.25. 3.00. 3.25 KEMPTON PARK
12 PLAYS OF CHRISTMAS "RP TIPSTER TEAM' ADD ALL THE SEASONING TO THE SPECTACULOR MIX OF COMPETITORS ALL FIGHTING FOR THEIR OWN PLACE IN THE WINNERS ENCLOSURE
BUT WHICH 'TRAINERS TEAM' WILL BE FINDING THE GOLD IN THIS CHRISTMAS CRACKER? AND WILL THE 'RP TIPPING TEAM' BE ABLE TO ASSESS THE BEST 'DEAL OR NO DEAL' IN THIS CHRISTMAS THRILLER ?
A Racing Tack - Room
"PRESSURE IS ON LONG RUN INSISTS NICHOLLS"
RUBY WALSH and KAUTO STAR JOIN UP
LEE MOTTERSHEAD picks up the vibs from champion trainer Paul Nicholls
"WALSH 'crucial' to KAUTO STAR'S bid for revenge in King George."
YES, YES, YES.
LEE "It was WALSH partnering KAUTO STAR to a record- breaking four consecutive victories in racing's Christmas Classic but injury prevented him from participating in last season's rescheduled renewal, in which the iconic chaser could manage only a distant third under replacement rider TONY McCOY.
"When LONG RUN and KAUTO STAR renew rivalry on Monday, McCOY will be watching from the stands and WALSH competing from the back of his great friend, who delighted his legion of fans when defeating the King George and subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero in Haydock's Betfair Chase. Eight lengths separated the two mighty chasers on that occasion (19.11.2011) but Nicholls remains adamant that the one to beat is LONG RUN, the sponsor's
5-4 favourite for an enthralling King George that, as expected, retained all eight remaining entries - including KAUTO STAR'S stablemate MASTER MINDED - at yesterday's final declaration stage.
"The pressure isn't on us this season - it's on LONG RUN" said Nicholls. He's the reigning champion and we go into the race as underdog."
"Stressing the importance of having WALSH aboard William Hill's 3-1 second favourite, Nicholls added: "One thing that is crucial is that RUBY rides him this season. I think that's worth an enormous amount to KAUTO."
"By saying that, I don't mean any criticism of TONY McCOY. "He was a bit unfortunate in last season's race. It was a very high - pressure ride and he'd never sat on KAUTO in a race. RUBY has ridden him throughout his career, he know him better than anybody and the two of them get on so well.
"RUBY gets such a tune out of KAUTO and the horse has so much confidence in him. Having him on this time is worth a lot. It's a massive plus.
"In another change to last season's race, KAUTO STAR will be minus the noseband that was worn in 11 consecutive races until being removed at Haydock. There was no real reason why I took it off, just a gut feeling. We put it on him because he used to make the odd mistake and we wanted to help him to concentrate, but he seemed to jump better without it
"KAUTO STAR and his King George opponents seem likely to be watched by a typical large Christmas crowd, with Kempton yesterday warning that the track's premier enclosure could sell out on raceday. More than 20,000 racegoers watched KAUTO STAR win three of his four King Georges, while 14,489 turned up last January, when LONG RUN triumphed in a contest moved from its traditional date due to bad weather.
"Kempton chief executive Amy Starkey said: "My expectation is that we will have over 20,000 people. We're going to be selling tickets until 1pm on Christmas Eve and there will be badges for sale in all enclosures on Boxing Day. However, there is limited availability in the premier enclosure, so I would advise anyone who wants to buy tickets for that to be here when gates open at 10am."
Who's going to win the King George? Michael Dickenson, two-time King George winner as a trainer "I was so impressed with LONG RUN in the Gold Cup that I would hope he could win the King George, I'm a big fan of his jockey, who is a superb horseman and rides very well."
If RUBY and KAUTO perform as they did at Haydock on November 19th their brilliance will be unbeatable. All the formidable fences at Kempton taken at racing pace demand an accuracy second to none, over 3 miles a gruelling test. LONG RUN will undoubtably strip fitter this time, he is a much bigger horse than his senior, KAUTO STAR.
At dusk on Friday the track was saturated by heavy rain. Clerk of Course Barney Clifford said "I think everyone wants ground on the slow side of good and I think that's what we'll have."
DESERT ORCHID WON THIS RACE 4 TIMES
HEARTS WILL MOST DEFINITELY BE RACING
AT KEMPTON PARK AT 3pm ON MONDAY