Starluck to shine over Kempton betting favourite Binocular again

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Starluck looks a decent betting prospect at 5/2 to once again finish ahead of Binocular and take victory in the upcoming Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

While Binocular and Khyber Kim, the first two horses home in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last year, are the two star names in the six-runner Kempton field, it is Starluck that could upstage his rivals.

Starluck finished second behind Peddlers Cross at Newbury in November, with Binocular in third, and connections of the latter have openly stated that the horse is being trained to be in optimum condition to defend his title in March.

Therefore, with Binocular also showing little sparkle in his preliminary races ahead of the Champion Hurdle last year, he is worth opposing at 2/1 in the Christmas Hurdle betting market.

Furthermore, Starluck finished ahead of Binocular in the Christmas Hurdle last season, when chasing home Go Native.

Perhaps the one thing in Binocular’s favour is that the Irish have a fine record in the race, winning five of the last six renewals.

Starluck was also back in fifth in the Champion Hurdle, but he can be forgiven this slightly disappointing display as he should run much better on a flatter track.

Khyber Kim at 3/1 in the Kempton betting is much harder to rule out of contention, but is likely to need the run as he has not been seen on a racecourse since winning at Aintree in April.

The big key to the race is how fast the early stages are run, with the three leading contenders all preferring to sit just off the pace.

Overturn should get to set his own pace in front and can be backed at 6/1 to spring a surprise and potentially lead the race from start to finish.

A £25 bet on Khyber Kim winning the Christmas Hurdle could see a return of £75. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.