The Racing Post standard time for three miles at Kempton Park is 5:54:0 while at Ascot 5:43:0 That for me dismisses claims that Ascot is a stiffer course than Kempton Park. My suggestion is the fences at Ascot are more inviting than the upright, stiff, fences used at Kempton Park.
CYRNAME 176 174 178
CLAN DES OBEAUX 168 169 172
THISTLECRACK 167 168 170
ASO 165 167 168
FOOTPAD 164 165 166
LA BAGUE AU ROI 154 158 158
As we can see from the ratings, Cyrname has 5lb and upwards in hand on all ratings. Whilst his rise to stardom has come at Ascot, it is worth remembering he has won two Grade Two chases here at Kempton Park. He is a fabulous jumper, loves racing on the pace, steadily putting his rivals to the sword. He may have company on this occasion as both La Bague Au Roi and Footpad enjoy racing on the pace. In addition, Thistlecrack and Aso race just behind the pace suggesting there will be no hiding place. Both Cyrname’s sire and dam stayed two-miles five-furlongs. His sires’ best horse over three-miles and further has been Yala Enki. Most of his stock are effective up to two and three-quarter miles. Lostintranslation has risen through the ranks on a variety of tracks and going. Effective at Cheltenham, Aintree, Carlisle, Haydock Park, Sandown Park, and Newbury he has won on good to soft through to soft. (Twice beaten on heavy ground) Winning the Betfair Chase from Bristol De Mai was some achievement. The runner-up achieved the same RPR he recorded when successful in 2018. In addition, Lostintranslation’s jumping, which had been exemplary throughout, let him down when less than fluent at the penultimate and final fence. The trip is not an issue. Given Bristol De Mai’s relentless gallop in the Betfair, jumping at speed through a race did not faze Mr Tizzard’s charge. Clan Des Obeaux is respected. Winner of the race last year, I feel it is fair to suggest this is a more competitive renewal. We should not forget both Waiting Patiently and Might Bite, first and second favourite on the day, failed to finish. Footpad looked back to something like his best when successful at Thurles. However, he needs to improve again and, more importantly, prove he will stay. Neither sire or dam offer much in the way of stamina needed for this test. Thistlecrack’s chance of a second win may have passed him by while Aso looks short of what is needed at this level, over this trip. La Bague Au Roi looked on the way back in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon. Indeed, she beat Topofthegame last Boxing Day. The runner-up went onto to raise his game at Cheltenham, while La Bague Au Roi has subsequently failed to reach a similar level of form. Fascinating renewal. As I write on Monday prior to Boxing Day, I am in the camp of Lostintranslation.

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