Racing: Follow Brad's advice and plunge on Bay
The former National Hunt jockey Steve Smith Eccles (right) gives a runner-by runner analysis of Boxing Day's King George VI Chase.
Wednesday 24 December 1997
Challenger Du Luc: Steps up to three miles after three defeats over two and a half on stiff tracks like Cheltenham. Sure to appear late on the scene as he needs to be held up, but it remains to be seen whether he can produce the necessary turn of foot.
Djeddah: Gallic raider who showed promise last season but out of sorts this term.
One Man: Attempting to emulate Desert Orchid's achievement of three consecutive King Georges, and who is to say that he will not? He showed he is at his formidable best by winning at Wetherby and Huntingdon and is the one they all have to beat. A worthy favourite.
Rough Quest: Ran a blinder on his seasonal reappearance behind The Grey Monk at Haydock and will strip fitter this time. However, I can see him being outpaced over the final three fences.
See More Business: Progressive horse who won Chepstow's Rehearsal Chase in style, but Kempton may prove too sharp for a horse who thrives on a galloping track.
Senor El Betrutti: Has won the Murphy's and Tripleprint Gold Cups this season, bowling along in front and jumping like a bunny rabbit. He steps up in distance and class but will run well if the ground is not too soft.
Suny Bay: The Hennessy Gold Cup hero is the mount of my old pal Graham Bradley, who has likened him to Gold Cup winner Bregawn. If Brad's judgement is right, as it usually is, Suny Bay has an excellent chance of completing a hat-trick.
Yorkshire Gale: Won last time out but will be hard pressed to repeat that here.
Conclusion: It is going to be a grey day, and Graham Bradley can crown a magnificent year by lowering the colours of One Man with SUNY BAY. Given decent ground, a third grey, Senor El Betrutti, will run a big race, while Challenger Du Luc may reward each-way backers.
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