BRAVEMANSGAME HEADS BETTING TO MAKE IT LUCKY 13 FOR KEMPTON KING NICHOLLS
With Jack Frost wiping out major fixtures on both sides of the Irish Sea in recent days, we’ve taken this opportunity to look at some of the leading contenders for Kempton’s traditional Boxing Day treat, the King George VI Chase.
With a record 12 wins in the race, trainer Paul Nicholls is the obvious starting point when looking for a potential King George winner, and the champion trainer has a typically strong hand once again. The market says Bravemansgame is the leading contender from Ditcheat, and having won the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over the course and distance on Boxing day last year, and started this season with a victory in the Charlie Hall Chase, it’s hard to see stable jockey Harry Cobden not partnering the ante-post favourite, and not hard to see the pair going close.
Nicholls is also responsible for the current second favourite Hitman. The 6-year-old is yet to run over a distance as far as the King George three miles, but he certainly wasn’t stopping when stepped up in trip at Haydock last time, and while he’s yet to face opposition of the class he will face at Kempton, he is only four pounds lower than his market-leading stablemate on official ratings, and his trainer is never afraid of pitching his charges against each other.
A Grade 1 winner at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, L’Homme Presse made a stunning return to action this season when carrying top weight to victory in Newcastle’s Rehearsal Chase. May not get the softer ground he seems to relish, but more than worth his place in the field if connections roll the dice.
Unbeaten after his first eleven starts under rules, this horse was being compared to the mighty Arkle in some quarters, but while the wheels came off to a degree when that winning run came to a halt, he did make his first start over three miles a winning one when scoring at the top level at Down Royal last month, and the Irish raider couldn’t be discounted for powerful connections.
Still only seven, Noble Yeats place in racing folklore is assured, following his Grand National victory earlier this year. Many thought another Aintree bid was on the cards again this season, but such plans may now have to be shelved, as a stunning victory over the traditional fences at the Merseyside track in the Many Clouds Chase may have ended his time in handicaps for now. Quoted for the Gold Cup and this Kempton race, he would surely not look out of place in this company.
A third contender for Paul Nicholls, the 2020 King George winner was another to start this season carrying top weight to victory in a handicap, in this case the Badger Beers at Wincanton. He followed that up with a third place finish at Haydock, and while at ten years of age he may not be getting any better, this willing frontrunner gets on so well with rider Bryony Frost, should she make it back from injury in time for Boxing Day, it’s not hard to see the pair giving their backers something to cheer once again.
Always held in high regard by the Tizzards, Eldorado Allen has proved beyond doubt he relishes the three mile trip these days, chasing home Bravemansgame at Wetherby in October, before finding only Protektorat too good at Haydock last month, when Frodon was one place further back. Colin Tizzard won this race with Cue Card and Thistlecrack, and a win for this fellow would mark Joe’s first season with the licence in style.
Check out the latest King George betting HERE
David Stevens, Head of Coral PR