There is no place like Kempton at Christmas

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December 24, 2017

The likes of Yanworth and Elgin have made Christmas seem extra special at Barbury for the last two years, and, hopefully, our Boxing Day trip to the Sunbury venue will again be successful, Mia’s Storm being our major player in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.

Alan King said:”Kempton have received two contrasting weather forecasts, but I pray the rain stays away as this has been Mia’s Storm’s target for some time, and she is a mare who is at her best on decent ground.

“She isn’t a big, robust type, so the plan after Market Rasen was always to wait for Kempton. She was hugely impressive when winning that Listed race, which was only her second over fences, and she deserves a shot at the boys in this Grade 1, in which she gets the valuable mares weight allowance.

“We run two in the two mile and five handicap hurdle. Midnight Maestro‘s Ascot race was over when he made that shocking mistake at the first, and Barry (Geraghty) feels that he will be able to race more within his comfort-zone over this longer trip. I’ve always maintained there is a decent race in him.

“We also run Minella Charmer, who missed Haydock on Saturday because of the soft ground. He has now fallen three times, including back over hurdles, which is frustrating as he has jumped hundreds of hurdles at home.

“There is a theory that he has been getting a bit short of oxygen, so we have given him a wind operation, but I stress that such things are not always the magic cure that people think.”

We are also represented at Wincanton on Boxing Day, and Alan added:”Bastien is all about stamina and won so well at Towcester that the handicapper put him up 10lb, though he needed to climb the ratings to get in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham, which is the long-term target. Kevin Dowling keeps the ride in this qualifier for that series.

Passing Call also runs in the mares novice hurdle. I’m inclined to forgive her being beaten at Southwell last time as I ran her back too quick.”