12.45pm Kempton Tips & Betting Preview 26/12/2017

IN SUMMARY: Plenty of decent horses are set to do battle here in a race that seems sure to but full of future winners but the value call has to be IRISH PROPHECY (Each Way) who was unlucky to run on to the very classy Kalashnikov last time out. Time may well prove that was a better effort than it looked at the time and with more improvement likely, the selection has an excellent each-way chance at a decent price.

1 IF THE CAP FITS – Looks a top-class sort for trainer Harry Fry and retained his unbeaten record over hurdles in fine style at Bangor over this sort of trip last time out coming clear very easily under Noel Fehily (who rides again today) for a facile success. He looks a bit special on what we have seen so far, and although this is his toughest assignment yet he seems sure to be involved in the finish granted a clear round.

2 DIESE DES BIEFFES – The second unbeaten runner here after winning starts at Fontwell and then Taunton, the latest in late November when scoring by six lengths when quickening up nicely when asked to go and win his race. Sean Bowen rides for Nicky Henderson this afternoon and as the stable have won three of the last six renewals of this race, the four-year-old ought to be a major player again today.

3 IRISH PROPHECY –  Lost his unbeaten record last time out after two successful bumpers at Doncaster and Kempton and a maiden hurdle at Sandown when put in his place by the odds-on Kalashnikov back at Doncaster at the beginning of the month. Ten lengths adrift that day but the winner is held in very high regard and time may well prove that this is actually a much easier task. 

4 SOLOMON GREY – Still a blank canvas after just the two starts with a second to If The Cap Fits at Bangor and he meets that rival on four pounds worse terms here. He clearly learned plenty from that outing and romped home at Plumpton by an easy eleven lengths last time out and is obviously getting better with experience, though this is a leap of faith on his actual achievements, and he will need to improve again to take a hand in the finish.

5 AIRTIGHT – Has run well enough in both bumpers so far with a length and three-quarter second at Fontwell and a five and a quarter length last of six at Ascot in a decent looking contest won by Jersey Bean. Likely to improve now he faces hurdles for the first time but this is a baptism of fire and jockey bookings suggest he is the stable second string.

6 AR MEST – James Moore rides for father Gary which suggests he is the stable number one, and is another making his debut over obstacles in this classy event. Third at Lingfield in a bumper last time out, the son of Diamond Boy looks capable of winning a race or two but on what he has shown so far this looks a ridiculous ask.

7 SIMPLY THE BETTS – Well supported at Market Rasen on his debut before taking his bumper at odds of 7/4 when staying on strongly. Looked to lack a turn of foot that day which is a concern, and he may well be better over further in time, but he does get weight from the previous winners and is impossible to simply rule out with improvement likely after a third on his hurdling bow at Newbury when looking rather one-paced.

8 STORM HOME – Cost £130,000 after falling in his only point-to-point when in the lead at Largy in Ireland and ran a race full of promise on his debut under rules when second at Wincanton on his hurdling bow. Desperately disappointing on his only other start when a distant fifth over further, the trip seems an unlikely excuse and he arrives here with plenty to prove, but recent homework has apparently suggested he is back to near his best.

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