There was heavy rain forecast for Kempton early in the week, but it should be largely dry in the run up to Boxing Day and the feature card on a wonderful day of racing.

I think it is fair to assume the ground will be on the soft side of good and in the opener Didtheyleaveuoutto is 3lbs worse off for the head he beat Thomas Darby at Ascot.

There should again be little between the pair although It should be noted that the latter was taken out of a race at Ascot over the weekend on account of the prevailing soft ground.

My two against the field are The Big Bite (two from two over timber) and the maiden Mister Fisher (12.50) and the vote goes to the latter who is the sole representative of Nicky Henderson.

The Lambourn handler has won this race three times in the last seven years most recently with Altior three years ago.

The selection was too keen and failed to get home when runner up at Newbury on his sole start over timber, but he receives weight from four of his five rivals and, if more amenable to restraint, can cause a bit of a shock.

Warthog kept out of trouble and made all at Sandown in an incident packed race last time, but the grey has been raised 11lbs and he will do well to follow up despite the David Pipe yard being in top form at present.

Henderson saddles two and Turtle Wars is one who I feel is well ahead of his current mark. The concern is this extended two-and-a-half miles which he has yet to prove he stays.

Glen Forza (1.20) was backed as if defeat was out of the question when scoring at Chepstow over a trip just shy of three-miles last time and he, too, has been raised 11lbs. He should have the race run to suit, however, and I would be disappointed if he didn’t run a big race. The selection is 4/1 at BetVictor.

The Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase is a top-class renewal and five of the seven runners hold realistic chances. Henderson’s Santini would be my selection at this stage for the RSA Chase and he and Topofthegame are big dangers to Bags Groove (1.55) who gets the each way vote at 6/1 with BetVictor.

Trained by Harry Fry, the seven-year-old must go right-handed and improved again for the step up to three-miles when making all under a double penalty at Huntingdon last time. He may not get his own way in front with the excellent mare La Bague Au Roi and The World’s End in the field, but his jumping has been fast and fluent, and Wednesday’s conditions should be ideal.

Buveur D’Air (2.30) cannot be opposed in a poor renewal of the Christmas Hurdle as the dual Champion Hurdler – so impressive in the BetVictor Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on his reappearance – has scared away the opposition.

The feature event if the King George VI Chase and it is a tricky puzzle to solve with favourite Might Bite disappointing at Haydock on his reappearance. I’m not convinced this is the track for Native River – jumped out to the left when third in a poor renewal of the Kauto Star three years ago – and I am going to take an each way chance on the veteran Coneygree (3.05) at 25/1 with BetVictor.

The selection is a former Gold Cup winner who won the Kauto Star by 30l here four years ago over course and distance and hinted he was back to something like his best when third in a Cheltenham Handicap over an additional half mile last month. His career record going right-handed is 113 and, in a race where you can pick holes in the credentials of all the fancied runners, at 25/1 with BetVictor I hope he can run into a place although he won’t get an easy lead with Native River and Bristol De Mai in the field.

At Sedgefield, the teenager Firth Of The Clyde has his first start for Keith Dalgleish and a check of the market is advised. The progressive Schiehallion Munro (12.25) escapes a penalty for winning a conditional jockey’s event over course and distance earlier in the month, however, and he can follow up under his 10lbs claimer Billy Garrity.

Roxyfet (12.55) won the corresponding two-mile Handicap Chase 12 months ago and can follow up for the same Hammond/Garrity combination who saddle Schiehallion Munro half an hour earlier.

The selection is 4lbs higher in the weights than in 2017, but his talented conditional takes off 10lbs and he hinted that he was coming to hand when third at Bangor last time.

The four-year-old Eureu du Bourlay (2.45) won his first race since coming over from France when scoring at Catterick last week and he can defy a 7lbs penalty with conditional Thomas Wilmott’s claim offsetting the rise in the weights.

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