King George VI

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

As if it wasn’t enough to be responsible for one of the finest British films of our time, George VI also gave his name to one of the finest races in the jump calendar. Boxing Day quite simply would not be Boxing Day without the King George VI Chase, and this year’s line-up is as tasty as ever.

Second only in prestige to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the King George is normally a pretty good gauge of how horses are jumping in the run-up to the big one. The hot favourite is last year’s winner, the Waley-Cohen owned and jockeyed Long Run, 5/4 with Ladbrokes. Many believe he could string a chain of victories together to rival the legendary Kauto Star (now almost 12), although the old favourite did thrash him at Haydock in their last big clash. If there is one more big win in Clive D.Smith’s ageing nag, the crowd will go wild, quite justifiably.

Indeed, the Star will certainly have his takers at 7/2, but if it isn’t to be Long Run, Master Minded at 5s may be the value. Trainer Paul Nicholls has been aiming for the King George ever since he won the Melling Chase at Aintree back in April, although he was well below par in the Old Roan Chase earlier this year.

It promises to be an incredible Boxing Day of sport, with Australia-India a warm-up to a bumper Premier League card, and one of the great jump show-downs. There is quite simply no excuse to have to converse with any family members.

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