King George VI Chase Preview

King George Vi Chase Preview: Kempton Park, Boxing Day

Horse Racing
Published: 12/12/2011

As well as being the horse racing highlight of the festive period, the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park is also the main overall sporting Christmas feast.

Run over a flat three mile course, the race is covered in prestige and history and perennially boasts a crop of the finest staying chasers in the business.

Any long distance chaser of legendary status will have a King George success on their record and that certainly applies to a number of famous and familiar horses of years gone by.

One Man, The Fellow, See More Business, Arkle and Wayward Lad are all highlights of the King George VI Chase roll of honour, but it was the peopleís champion Desert Orchid who really made the race his own, triumphing on four occasions during the late eighties.

The super grey knew his way around Kempton in his sleep and the same has only ever applied to one horse since Ė Kauto Star.

And Paul Nicholls charge is likely to be on the premises again in 2011 as he bids to eclipse Desert Orchidís record and win the race for a magnificent fifth time.

In 2010, it looked as though age had finally caught up with Kauto as he was sluiced by young pretender Long Run at a rearranged Boxing Day meeting due to severe frost.

After gallantly finishing second once again to Nicky Hendersonís horse in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Kauto was pulled up at Punchestown and looked for all money as if he was set for a well-deserved retirement.

But Nicholls opted to keep the eleven year-old in training and his decision paid dividends in November 2011 when Kauto hit back to gun down Long Run and a host of other rivals to seal a third betfair Chase success at Haydock.

That win has once again teed up the horse for another King George tilt and laid the foundations for what should be one of the best renewals of the Christmas race in modern times.

The possible participation of stable mate and dual Champion chaser Master Minded also adds real spice to the mix and potentially means that this yearís line-up could be the best of all time with regards to ratings and credentials.

Ultimately, the King George VI Chase is unique as it can throw together the best staying chasers around as well as top two-mile horses who are aiming to step up and make the grade over the extra distance.

Many fail to conquer that test, but few would back against Master Minded at least being in the shake- up turning for home and hopefully in a head to head scrap with Kauto.

Master Mindedís long term rival Somersby should also take his chance and Henrietta Knightís horse is likely to be amongst the favourites as he appears to have been specifically aimed towards the race and the extended trip will suit.

Throw 2011 Arkle winner Captain Chris into the party and there really is a spectacle to behold come Christmas time.

So many quality horses are likely to hold a major chance going to post and for the punter, it may simply come to down to personal favouritism and preference as to which will jump and travel the best in order to poke their nose in front at the finishing line.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (12/12/2011) but are subject to change.

12/12/2011     © Frixo 2019

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