2020 Christmas Hurdle Guide

Kempton - December 26 2020
Kempton 14:25
4
Aidan Coleman

Epatante

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 162
Days: 28

The JP McManus owned superstar has been seen seven times since coming to England under Nicky Henderson and has gone on to land six of her races, including three Grade One events.

Last season she started off in the Gerry Feilden Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury and then on her final start before Cheltenham landing the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

This set her up perfectly for the Champion Hurdle when going off favourite and under a cool ride by Barry Geraghty went on to land the prestigious event with ease.

She is the mare to beat in the two mile hurdling division again this season and cemented that thought on seasonal debut when landing the Grade One Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, never coming off the Bridle.

Although a short price for this event on Boxing Day, it would be a big surprise if she did not land back to back renewals of the race and looks to be the one to beat

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/21PUN16Y11-73
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-33
26/12/20KEM16GS11-02
28/11/20NCS16Gd11-01
10/03/20CHL16.5Sft11-31
Kempton - December 26 2020
Kempton 14:25
3
Adam Wedge

Silver Streak

J:
 
Adam Wedge
T:
 
Evan Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 158
Days: 14

Evan Williams leading grey hurdler Silver Streak has made an impressive start to the season and his handler has targeted another crack at the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton over Christmas having finished second in the event last year.

The handler believes his star seven year old can finally make the jump up to landing a Grade One event having finished Third in a Champion Hurdle two seasons ago and finishing second in this race last term.

Kempton seems to be a happy hunting ground for the gelding having landed back to back renewals off the Listed two miles hurdle contest on his seasonal debuts.

Having landed that event at Kempton he was stepped up to the Grade One Fighting Fifth against Epatante at Newcastle and unfortunately got bought out of the race at the second hurdle by a loose horse.

This then tempted Williams to run the gelding at Cheltenham last week in the International Hurdle having not done much at Newcastle and it almost paid off.

Heading into the race a live contender but the softening ground not helping his cause he went on to finish second in a photo-finish to the young pretender Song For Someone.

After that impressive run he is now all systems go for the Christmas Hurdle where he will be hoping for another solid run at a track he loves.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/21AIN20GS11-76
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-106
26/12/20KEM16GS11-71
12/12/20CHL17Sft11-42
28/11/20NCS16Gd11-7CO
Kempton - December 26 2020
Kempton 14:25
1
Sam Twiston-Davies

Ballyandy

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 9
Weight: 11-7
OR: 157
Days: 14

The ever consistent veteran Ballyandy has been a superb yardstick for Nigel Twiston-Davies throughout his career running to a high standard in some huge races.

Having landed the Champion Bumper back in 2016, his Cheltenham record is exceptional also finishing third in the Grade Three Coral Cup last year at the festival.

Since then he has has stepped into better races placing in the International Hurdle at Wincanton before a staying on third in this race last year and then he finally got off the mark for the season at Haydock in the Grade Two Champion Hurdle trial, before finishing a respectable eighth of 17 in the Champion Hurdle.

He made his return to racing at Ffos Las and was a good second behind Sceau Royal in the Welsh Champion Hurdle and another, which he then used to finish a goo second again behind The Shunter in the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle.

If it is not broke don't fix it and he was sent back to Prestbury Park for the International Hurdle, where again he gave his all to finish a close third behind Song For Someone and Silver Streak.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/01/21HAY15.5Hy11-103
26/12/20KEM16GS11-73
12/12/20CHL17Sft11-63
15/11/20CHL16.5Sft11-122
18/10/20FFO16GS11-102
Kempton - December 26 2020
Kempton 14:25
5
Jeremiah McGrath

Floressa

J:
 
Jeremiah McGrath
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: 144
Days: 28

Floressa would be a surprise winner of this event, but Nicky Henderson does have a great record in this event winning this race nine times during his career.

The five year old mare looks to be the second string of the Seven Barrows runners but is another horse getting the 7lb allowance like her stablemate Epatante.

Having been smart last term winning a Listed event and then finishing a neck second to Lady Buttons in a Grade Two at Doncaster, she disappointed at the Cheltenham festival when no better than midfield in the Mares Novices' Hurdle.

She has had a similar career to Epatante in where she has finishes in races and the trend continued last time out when winning the Gerry Feilden Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury;

This a huge step up compared to, but she could be a useful mare in the future.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/03/21CHL20Sft11-56
30/01/21DON16.5Sft11-42
26/12/20KEM16GS11-04
28/11/20NBY16.5Gd11-51
12/03/20CHL17Sft11-79
Kempton - December 26 2020
Kempton 14:25
2
Harry Cobden

Diego Du Charmil

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 148
Days: 49

The final runner in the race is Diego Du Charmil for Paul Nicholls and the eight year old is another runner that has been tried over both hurdles and fences recently.

His chase form looks very strong having landed a Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot last season before then finishing a smart second behind stablemate Capeland over the same course and distance.

He was moved back to hurdles on his final start of the season in the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle when finishing a narrow second behind the smart Song For Someone.

He returned to Kempton for his seasonal debut this term where he looked like he needed the run, finishing third behind Silver Streak who has landed the Listed event two years on the bounce.

He then went to Wincanton last time out in the Grade Two Elite Hurdle and again could only finish third behind Sceau Royal and that form makes him opposable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/04/21PLU16Gd11-51
26/12/20KEM16GS11-75
07/11/20WCN15.5Gd11-03
18/10/20KEM16Gd11-03
22/02/20KEM16GS11-22

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