WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and an each-way selection for the 2.15 at Naas on Sunday 17th October.
|Espoir De Romay||20/1||Ante Post
Kempton Park - Boxing Day 2021
|Shan Blue||50/1||Ante Post
Kempton Park - Boxing Day 2021
Date of Tips: 28/09/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (17:06 28/09/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
A hugely valuable part of any successful punter’s psychological armoury is being able to admit when you were wrong, and why you were wrong. It allows us to assess how to get better, and ultimately to allow us to be more profitable.
When I published this ante-post recommendation for the King George VI Chase 2021 at Kempton Park – https://www.whichbookie.co.uk/free-betting-tips/horse-racing/king-george-vi-chase-2021-tips/ – not long after the dust had settled on the 2020 edition, I thought I was on to a cracking each-way ante-post investment that we could lock away for 12 months.
However, since Shan Blue won the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase so impressively last season, he has had three runs and been beaten on all three occasions. His form is starting to show a striking preference for early season.
In 7 career starts in October, November and December, Shan Blue has only been beaten on two of those, and they were his hurdling debut and also when falling three out on his second hurdle start when he would have gone very close.
In 7 career starts in January to April, Shan Blue is yet to win.
This time of year is plentiful with jumps stable tours, and thanks to the reference in this article – https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/dan-skelton-stable-tour-202122-hopes-are-high-for-another-major-campaign/194874 – it seems as if all roads lead back to the Christmas showpiece for Shan Blue.
That Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook have pushed him out to 50/1 for the race is extremely generous, and if you’re not already on due to the above article (at 25/1!?), then you should definitely take the 50s each-way. I have…
I’ve also managed to sneak a peek at Kim Bailey’s stable brochure for the 2021/22 season, and as ever, there were a number of horses that I was keen to see where they may be aimed.
Espoir De Romay was chief among them, and thanks to Kim Bailey’s comments, it seems the King George VI Chase 2021 is very much the early season target.
At 20/1 each-way with William Hill, he is another dart to add to the ante-post bow for Kempton Park’s Boxing Day cracker. Lightly raced, Espoir De Romay is testament to the patience and expert handling of Bailey, and he was all set to reward his trainer’s faith when agonisingly coming down at the last in the Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree in April.
It was an inexperienced fall, and handed the race to the Marsh Novices’ Chase winner Chantry House, who was chasing Espoir De Romay’s shadow up to that point.
It was a blitzkrieg display of front running from David Bass and Espoir De Romay, and for all that the winning time of Chantry House was 4 seconds slower than current general King George VI Chase favourite Clan Des Obeaux clocked when winning the Betway Bowl the day before….
This by no means tells the whole story however, as if you watch Espoir De Romay during the Mildmay Novices’ Chase and compare it side-by-side with Clan Des Obeaux in the Bowl the day previous, then a quite simply scintillating mid-race extended burst from Espoir De Romay, meant that he was attempting to jump the second last nearly 5 seconds ahead of where Clan Des Obeaux was in the mirroring race.
Let me get the proviso in first: yes I know comparing races on different days is tricky, but the standard times for both days were very similar and the ground was clearly riding almost identical on both days.
So, let me sum that up for you – as an immature 7-year-old, Espoir De Romay was 5 seconds quicker than the dual King George VI Chase winner and current ante-post favourite for the 2021 renewal.
Not only that, but Espoir De Romay jumped right at Aintree the whole way. Thus, with his mid-race move being very suited to the high-tempo style of race that Kempton produces, and the right-handed tendencies further enhancing his suitably for the Christmas Grade 1 – at 20/1 each-way with William Hill to win the King George VI Chase 2021, Espoir De Romay is the improver that the UK-trained 3m chasing division has so desperately needed.