THIS will be Reign dear for the bookies.
REIGNING SUPREME won twice from three starts over hurdles last season with his only defeat coming on heavy ground.
Nicky Henderson has wasted no time sending him over fences and he looks well weighted.
Henderson could have the biggest danger in Wenyerreadyfreddie. He had some good novice hurdles form last season but he was always likely to do better when sent chasing.
The trip was probably too sharp when fourth on his comeback over hurdles at Sandown so he will love stepping up to 2m4f for his chase debut.
Touch Kick won at Sandown last time but this looks a much tougher race. There’s a fair chance will have improved for that win but he will need to.
Hell’s Kitchen has always had stacks of potential but he needs to start showing it on the track.
TUNE into the great Escape.
ELEGANT ESCAPE was decent enough over hurdles but there’s no doubt he’s improved since switching to fences.
He chased home Mia’s Storm at Chepstow before filling the same position behind Ballyoptic at Exeter.
I’ve a feeling he’s progressing faster than that pair and he put in a fine round of jumping to see off Black Corton at Newbury last time.
Black Corton has done fantastically well to win six chases already this season. Only a slower jump at the last cost him defeat against Elegant Escape last time but he’s not open to as much progression as Colin Tizzard’s hope.
A blunder at the last cost Ballyoptic when beaten by Black Corton at Cheltenham last month. His mistakes are a concern and I’m not sure this track is ideal.
Some Invitation didn’t beat much on his chasing debut. He’s only had five races and that inexperience counts against him.
Start your Cheltenham wallet today at Kempton!
TAKE in the Christmas Air.
Champion Hurdler BUVEUR D’AIR should have little trouble rattling off his eighth straight win.
His only defeat since switching from bumpers came when third in the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle behind top-class stablemate Altior.
After two chase wins last season he returned to hurdling with devastating effect. He followed his Champion Hurdle victory by adding another Grade 1 in the Aintree Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson’s ace cruised home in the Fighting Fifth on is return and looks hard to beat.
The New One ran another screamer when narrowly failing to give My Tent Or Yours 6lbs when attempting to win a fourth International Hurdle at Cheltenham ten days ago.
He chased home Yanworth in this race 12 months ago and Faugheen in 2016.
It looks likely Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grand old hurdler will fill the same position for a third time.
Old Guard is probably his main rival for that slot.
LONG live the King.
THISTLECRACK was awesome when winning the 32Red King George last year.
He had the race won turning for home and was far enough clear on the run-in to allow Tom Scudamore to wave to the crowd for much of the run-in.
He was off injured after suffering his only defeat over fences when narrowly denied in a titanic battle with ill-fated Many Clouds at Cheltenham in January.
His comeback run over hurdles at Newbury could have been much better. No doubt. But he moved with his usual class and I reckon it was just lack of fitness that told.
If he’s back to the form of 12 months ago he will be the one to beat.
This year’s race does look stronger. Might Bite was incredible as a novice. He would have won the Kauto Star Chase by a country mile on this day last season but for a shuddering fall at the last.
His RSA Chase win – where he dropped anchor halfway up the run-in before storming home to nail
Whisper – was full of class. A non-nonsense Sandown win on his return should have set him up for today.
Bristol De Mai sliced through mud to win the Betfair Chase by a whopping 57 lengths. It would be dangerous to presume he has to have it heavy.
Ladbrokes Trophy runner-up Whisper has each-way claims and Double Shuffle could run well at a monster price.
Templegate’s TV tips
1.20 Kempton – REIGNING SUPREME: ‘Won twice from three starts over hurdles last season and he looks well weighted’ (add to your betslip)
1.55 Kempton – ELEGANT ESCAPE: ‘I’ve a feeling he’s progressing faster than his rivals and he put in a fine round of jumping last time’ (add to your betslip)
2.10 Wetherby – BAYWING: ‘Loves testing ground and his chase win last February over today’s course and distance is good form’ (add to your betslip)
2.30 Kempton – BUVEUR D’AIR: ‘Should have little trouble rattling off his eighth straight win’ (add to your betslip)
3.05 Kempton – THISTLECRACK: ‘If he’s back to the form of 12 months ago he will be the one to beat’ (add to your betslip)
GRAB a payday with BAYWING.
He loves testing ground and his chase win last February came over today’s course and distance in a good novice contest.
My fancy came down at the first in the race won by Welsh National hope Chase The Spud at Haydock last time but at least he didn’t have a hard race.
Aloomomo would be a big player in best form and he has dropped to a nice weight. A couple of hurdles spins should have put him spot on for today but he does need to prove he truly stays this far.
Wakanda is another given a chance by the handicapper. He didn’t run too well at Newcastle last time but it would be dangerous to write him off.
Get On The Yager came good on heavy ground at Fontwell but there’s a suspicion that race fell apart.