Kemboy and Al Boum Photo set to clash in the Savills Chase

Kemboy could be set for a rematch with Al Boum Photo in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
Kemboy could be set for a rematch with Al Boum Photo in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown.

Kemboy is on course to defend his crown in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, setting up a potential rematch with last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and stablemate, Al Boum Photo...

The seven-year-old enjoyed a stellar season last term, with the only blot on his copy coming when unseating at the first in the Cheltenham Gold Cup - a race that stablemate Al Boum Photo went on to win. 

Kemboy gained revenge in the Punchestown equivalent that May, and both look set to make their season reappearances in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over the festive period, potentially setting up another clash between the pair. 

The race is widely considered as the feature race of Leopardstown's four-day Christmas meeting, and it seems likely that Kemboy will now be able to bid for a fourth Grade 1 win of his career after his well-documented ownership issues were seemingly resolved. 

The Savills is not only a mammoth Grade 1 contest in its own right, but it also serves as a key trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the spring and with the entries for the race out, it is shaping up to be a stone cold classic.

Some legends of the sport have won the three-mile race at Leopardstown down the years, with Best Mate, Denman, Synchronised and Bobs Worth just four of the more eye-catching names on the roll of honour since the turn of the century.

Kemboy certainly won't have it easy if he is declared for the Savills Chase, however, with several top-class opponents set to line-up alongside both him and Al Boum Photo.

One of those is Presenting Percy, who was sent off as favourite for last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup having won the previous season's RSA Chase. Things never really got going for him last term, making just two starts, but still only eight, Presenting Percy caught the eye when third over an inadequate trip in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown last time out, and he should have plenty of days ahead of him yet. 

Other horses with entries include Delta Work, who was third in last season's RSA Chase, and Road To Respect, who rarely runs a bad race - finishing third in this last year and winning the Grade 1 Down Royal Champion Chase in really good style last month.

Cheltenham races will remain the priority for the majority of the field heading to Leopardstown, but this is a massive assignment in its own right and warrants being considered the highlight of the festive period over in Ireland.

The winner of the Savills Chase will see their price for the Gold Cup slashed as we head into 2020, with Kemboy likely to be the one under the most attention. He has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons recently, but now could the time for the seven-year-old to once again stake his claims at the highest level.

In the midst of all the great racing that occurs during the festive period, it can prove difficult to keep tabs on things, but this seasons Savills Chase promises to be a Christmas cracker that you wouldn't want to miss.

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