Harry Cobden: Boxing Day bonanza to savour

Blogs | 23rd December 2021

Hear the latest from Harry Cobden as he looks forward to riding Clan Des Obeaux in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. 

First and foremost, I hope everyone’s all set for a Happy Christmas! From my perspective Christmas Day isn’t too different to my regular routine. I’ll still head to Ditcheat first thing in the morning to ride out. The main aim is to help everyone get things wrapped up as early as possible so they can all get home for lunch in time. 

After that I’ll head home and help Dad with a few things on the farm. The cows, like racehorses, still need looking after on Christmas Day. Thankfully none of my rides over the festive period will involve a light weight, so I’ll be getting properly stuck into the Christmas turkey!

The Boxing Day card at Kempton is absolutely top drawer and I’m really lucky to be going there with plenty of good chances. Here’s hoping I get a late Christmas present or two!

Clan des Obeaux Harry Cobden


12:45pmPaso Doble

We won together at Taunton last time out and that win will have helped bring this horse forward plenty. Though the winning margin wasn’t huge he did it comfortably enough. Something in my mind tells me that this horse can improve a lot from there. 

He’s what I’d class as “a bit of a thinker”; he’s got plenty of ability but I think he saves a little bit up his sleeve. He was always just doing enough when he won last time, so hopefully with that little bit of energy in reserve he can step forward again on Sunday.   

Nicky Henderson’s horse Broomfield Burg, if you look at official ratings, appears to be the one we all have to beat.

1:20pm – Danny Kirwan

I was delighted with his first run of the season at Cheltenham; it was his first outing in over 200 days and he felt great for the vast majority of the race. 

The only thing that let him down slightly was his jumping in the latter stages. He jumped a bit out to his right and then had a good look at the walkway back to the paddock as we raced up the home straight. He was entitled to get a little tired but with that run under his belt he should be spot on for this. 

All his best form has come at right-handed tracks;  so he’ll be much better suited by Kempton’s track setup than Cheltenham’s. 

I schooled him over some fences at home earlier this week and he felt fantastic. He’s a horse with bundles of ability and I think he’s got a massive chance off a handicap mark of 133. 

1:55pm – Bravemansgame

The first Grade 1 race of the day and though there are only 4 runners it looks like it’ll be a real cracker of a contest.

Bravemansgame is everything you’d want in a novice chaser. He’s got heaps of class and his jumping over bigger obstacles has been exemplary so far. He just looks a total natural over fences and I can’t wait to see what he can do in Grade 1 company on Sunday.

He’ll be properly tested by Ahoy Senor, make no mistake about it.

I was aboard a decent horse in Flash Collonges at Newbury when Ahoy Senor won by a distance last time out. He’s obviously a high-class talent and a massive danger, but I 100% would stick with Bravemansgame if I had the choice between the pair. 

Ahoy Senor will almost certainly make the running; we’ll aim to follow him closely and look to make our move late on. May the best horse win!

3:05pm – Clan Des Obeaux in The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase

The big race of the festive season; The Ladbrokes King George VI Chase is a race every jockey wants to win.

I’m seriously lucky to be aboard a high quality horse in Clan Des Obeaux (Clan). If successful on Sunday he’ll join Kauto Star, Desert Orchid and Wayward Lad as a 3-time winner of the race. Those horses are all legends of the sport, so that tells you the level he’s aiming to get to.

Clan has had the perfect preparation heading into the race; I’m absolutely delighted with how he’s been working at home and I’m very excited about his chances.

He’s had two 2 mile racecourse gallops around Wincanton; the last of which was 2 weeks ago and we couldn’t be happier with how he’s handled them. He may not have had a prep run, but he definitely won’t be lacking for fitness whatsoever. Paul Nicholls is a master at targeting horses for races and, make no mistake, this is his big target.

Tactically I imagine Frodon and Bryony will set a good tempo from the front as is their usual running style. My aim is to get Clan Des Obeaux settled just off the pace; getting a prominent position early doors is hugely important here as you can struggle to make up masses of ground late on.

It looks like it’ll be a brilliant, Championship level race with there being so many Grade 1 winners in the line-up. Our horse is a 2-time winner of the race and arguably the best of the English challengers; hopefully we can bring the trophy back to Ditcheat for the fourth year running.

3.40pm – Ecco

He’s dropped down to an official rating of 131 which I think makes him pretty competitive. I’m looking forward to getting aboard him, I can see him running really well.

He worked brilliantly this morning and, unless there’s something in the race which is very well handicapped, I can’t see a reason why he can’t be involved at the business end of the race.