The National Hunt racing season has been back underway for around a month now, with the November Meeting at Cheltenham kicking things off for 2021-22 jumps campaign. We have had a few big races already, like the Betfair Chase, the Trophy Chase and the Tinkle Creek.
But the festive period promises to ramp things up a notch, with the Christmas Festival at Kempton, which is headlined by the iconic King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and, of course, the Leopardstown and Limerick Christmas Festivals over in Ireland all set to gain some traffic for betting sites like this one: https://www.betdaq.com/exchange/horse-racing/100004.
With so many top races taking place over such a frantic stretch of the year, it can be a daunting task to keep up with what is going on. So, to make life easier for you, we have put together a list of three horses to look out for over the festive period. Read on to find out more!
Clan Des Obeaux – King George VI Chase
It wasn’t the best of starts to last season for Clan DesObeaux, as the Paul Nicholls-trained horse failed to win in any of his first three races — including a third-place finish on the defence of his King George VI crown. However, the Sir Alex Ferguson-owned nine-year-old finished the year in fine fettle, winning the Bowl Chase at Aintree before ending the campaign with a victory over Al Boum Photo in the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Despite being yet to make his seasonal reappearance, Clan Des Obeauxis still the favourite to regain his King George VI title and if he carries on from where he left off last season, as we expect, then it would be no surprise to see the four-time Grade 1 winner back in the Kempton winners’ encloser on Boxing Day for the third time in just four years.
Bob Olinger – Faugheen Novice Chase
Another Boxing Day spectacle, Bob Olinger looks set to compete in the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase at the Limerick Christmas Festival. The six-year-old had a fantastic first full season last year, winning a Maiden Hurdle at Navan before back-to-back Grade 1 triumphs in the Naas Novice Hurdle and the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Another victory in his seasonal reappearance at Gowran Park shows just how much potential this six-year-old has and he’s a worthy odds-on favourite in the Faugheen Novice Chase’s ante-post market. But he will face stiff competition from Willie Mullins’ Concertista, who recently won a Grade 2 Novice Chase at Cork. Bob Olinger is also worth looking out for at Cheltenham, where he is already the favourite for the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
A Plus Tard – Savills Chase
With so many fantastic horses set to grace the Leopardstown turf during their four-day Christmas Festival, including the likes Honeysuckle, Energumene, Chacun Pour Soi and Allaho, it is difficult to narrow it down to just one. But we thinkA Plus Tard is worth watching in the penultimate day’s feature, the Savills Chase, on December 28th.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained horse came up just short in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he was narrowly beaten by his stablemate Minella Indo.But the seven-year-old has started this season empathically, beating Royale Pagailleby some 22 lengths in the Grade 1 Lancashire Chase at Haydock, and another victory here would really cement A Plus Tard as the frontrunner for the 2022 renewal of the Gold Cup.
It will be a real challenge though as he is set to go up against the likes of Al Boum Photo, Minella Indo and Protekorat. Beating competition of that standard is the perfect chance to prove your worth though!