OUR story of the year in National Hunt racing starts as always with Kempton on St Stephen’s Day where Clan Des Obeaux defended his winter crown by hammering stablemate Cyrname in the King George.

On the same card, a new star shone in the Christmas Hurdle as Epatante quickened clear impressively in the straight and in doing so leapfrogged her way to the forefront of an open market for the Champion Hurdle.