Kempton expecting ideal jumping ground for bumper Boxing Day

Kempton officials believe some rain in the run up to Christmas should deliver ideal jumping ground for the two-day Christmas Festival meeting.

With the addition of the Long Walk Hurdle, which was saved and transferred from Ascot following the meeting's abandonment due to frozen ground last week, the Sunbury track will stage no less than four Grade One events on Boxing Day.

The weather forecast for milder temperatures ahead of the festive period is welcome news for racegoers starved of top-quality action and with rain predicted on Friday, Kempton's clerk of the course, Barney Clifford, expects the ground to ride on the easy side of good.

The Venetia Williams-trained King George favourite L'Homme Presse would certainly welcome any further rain ahead of the mouthwatering clash with Bravemansgame, who bids to give champion trainer Paul Nicholls a record 13th success in the three-mile showpiece.

And connections may have their wish granted, with 15 millimetres of rain having fallen in the previous 72 hours to Thursday, and more on the way.

"We're expecting between 5mm and 15mm tomorrow (Friday) and then the forecast is unsettled with the risk of heavy showers through to Boxing Day," said Clifford.

"There may be a smattering of rain on Sunday night into Boxing Day, but if we do get what we are expecting, I should think we will change it to good to soft, soft in places by the end of tomorrow.

"It could be as much as 25mm and if we get all that, it could ease further.

"The track can easily take it, so we're very happy with where we are. It should be ideal jumping ground, it should suit everyone and we are all looking forward to a fantastic meeting."

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