Boxing Day racing is a huge tradition, especially in the UK, so this year I’ve put together a cross-Atlantic package to recoup some of the money that we’ve spent on crap that people didn’t want or need. There are two Stakes races on the turf at Gulfstream Park, and earlier in the day one of the biggest Steeplechases in the British Calendar, The King George Stakes, takes place at Kempton Park. Here are my Gulfstream and King George VI predictions.
Gulfstream and King George VI Predictions
Tropical Park Oaks – Gulfstream – Race 5
3-year-old fillies – 1 1/16 miles
Lady Speightspeare – 4 for 4 career so far including a Grade 1 turf win. She returns to the turf here after proving useful on dirt. She’s well-drawn and looks the one to beat. Has beaten Stunning Princess in the past.
Stunning Princess – Won nicely at Gulfstream coming back from a long layoff. She looks to be coming into herself at this time of year. I think she’ll get to the front early and will take some pegging back. Like.
Mademoiselle Nova – Another who ran ok coming back from a break, being run down late by Inthewinnerscircle, who re-opposes today. Should strip fitter but I think that form will be confirmed.
Breaker of Chains – Ex-Irish who has questions to answer. Won on debut and was well fancied to win a Grade 2 last time but blew the start. Interesting.
Bipartisanship – Improving type who will look to close from the back here. Didn’t beat much on debut and I think there’ll be better days ahead for her.
Inthewinnerscircle – Has won on the turf and at Gulfstream. Caught the eye when coming from off the pace to win last time. Luis Saez might try and sit closer, which will put her in the frame.
Gladys – Full-sister to RachelAlexandra who finished second last time out at Fairgrounds. She has a bit to prove against this caliber of opposition but might give you a run at a decent price.
Dream About Me – Well-bred and in good form. Has won on the grass at Delaware but I’m not sure she’s good enough today.
Tobys Heart – Beaten favorite last time – maybe was undone by the tacky ground. Looks more of a sprinter to me – I think this distance will be her undoing.
Lady Speightspeare will be a warm order with the form already in the book. However, I think Stunning Princess will bounce out from stall 1 and get to the turn first. She’s on the upgrade and will take some pegging back. I think she wins
Pick: Stunning Princess
Tropical Park Derby – Gulfstream – Race 10
3-year-olds – 1 1/16 miles
Sigiloso – 20/1 – Better on the turf than other surfaces. Met trouble last time out when finishing third. I can excuse him that and with a nice draw he’s definitely in the mix for me.
Never Surprised – 8/5 – Facile winner at Aqueduct last time running a good 98 speed figure.
Safe Conduct – 8/1 – Won the Queen’s Plate in August and this classic winner will welcome this drop back in trip. Needs a quick break but will be a handful if he gets to the front.
In Effect – 30/1 – Closer who will need a fast pace to aim at, which I think he gets. Must improve and needs luck in running.
Yes This Time – 9/2 – Genuine type who has won six of 11 starts over a variety of trips and ground. Not sure how much improvement he has left in him, which to me makes him vulnerable.
Fighting Force – 20/1 – Decent form in stakes races and on this surface. Comes from the back but looks outclassed.
Lamplighter Jack – 30/1 – Hawthorne winner who is taking a huge step up in class here. Will look to take on Never Surprised at the business end and herein lies the key to his chance.
King of Dreams – 12/1 – Thrives on the Tapeta at Gulfstream. Won the Showing Up Stakes last time out and if you’re looking for a live dog this might be it.
Grey Streak – 10/1 – On a form line through Mohs is up against it, I’m fully prepared to look elsewhere.
Mohs – 8/1 – Won the Hawthorne Derby last time beating Grey Streak. Connections seem unsure of his best running style but I think this improver will go well.
Scarlett Sky – 6/1 – Graded race winner last Spring who will need to bounce back to form to figure today.
Hot Blooded – 20/1 – Second at Tampa Bay Downs last time who looks slightly exposed. Decent chance on his 2-year-old form but can be overlooked here.
I think Safe Conduct will take all the passing if he gets to the front. King of Dreams can go well at a double-figure price. Sigiloso can be excused for his last run and can get involved in the finish.
Pick: Safe Conduct
King George VI Chase – Grade 1 – 3 mile Steeplechase
Asterion Forlonge – 7/1 – Talented individual who can let himself down with his jumping. Big chance if he gets around but can’t afford too many mistakes.
Chantry House – 5/1 – Progressive type with a great strike rate (8-10). A couple of the victories have been on the soft side and this is tougher.
Clan des Obeaux – 3/1 – Dual winner of this in 2018 and 2019. Form has held and looks to have been laid out. Still only 9 years old and my idea of the winner.
Frodon – 11/2 – Has made an iconic partnership with jockey Bryony Frost. Likable and genuine but looks vulnerable to something with a bit more class.
Lostintranslation – 14/1 – Looked to be on the downgrade but appears revitalized by wind surgery. Winner of a Cheltenham Gold Cup, it would be no surprise to see him put up a big effort today.
Minella Indo – 3/1 – Reigning Gold Cup champ fitted with first-time headgear. Had his colors lowered somewhat surprisingly by Frodon at Down Royal but remains a top-class performer and is a justified favorite.
Mister Fisher – 33/1 – Pieces of decent form are interspersed with the odd shocker. Will need to brush up over the obstacles to be involved at the finish.
Saint Calvados – 20/1 – Nice type over 2 miles 4 furlongs. Has encountered problems recently and has yet to convince me that he stays this far.
Tornado Flyer – 25/1 – Irish raider without a win in two years. Clearly capable but would be a surprise to see him win this.
Minella Indo scares me as he should be spot on for today, however something is nagging me about that Down Royal defeat so I’ll take Clan des Obeaux to win it for Britain. He can be forgiven his run in this last year and still hasn’t too many miles on the clock. Asterion Forlonge can be on the premises if staying on his feet.
Pick: Clan des Obeaux 3/1
Happy Holidays and Good Luck!