The King George VI Chase on Boxing Day is the biggest Grade 1 race of the Christmas period. Despite only five going to post in last year’s race, it was a high class field that took to the course. Often, horses that don’t like Cheltenham can love it around here and vice versa. Silviniaco Conti was a two-time winner of this race but he could never match that form at Prestbury Park. The incredible Kauto Star won this race five times but he also did the business at Cheltenham. One horse sticks out like a sore thumb in the antepost market at present.
You won’t see a better 9-4 shot all year
There you go, I’ve said it. Paul Nicholls’ Clan Des Obeaux is a household name now. It’s hard to imagine that he is still just an eight-year-old. He won the contest in both 2018 and 2019 and how he isn’t shorter than 9-4 for the 2020 renewal is anyone’s guess.
Cyrname is the 9-4 joint-favourite at present but the compilers have got this one wrong in my view. Clan Des Obeaux made him look like a shetland pony in this last year, forging clear to beat him by 21 lengths. There is no doubt that he is nowhere near as good a horse at Cheltenham. But Kempton is a sharp flat right-handed track and it really suits his high cruising speed.
The fact Paul Nicholls has already ruled out a crack at the Gold Cup for Clan Des Obeaux this season is a tip in itself. The only thing that matters for this horse is the King George so we know he will be 100-per-cent for it.
We already know that he usually needs the run at the start of the season. He ran a very satisfactory prep race when runner-up behind Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month. He bumped into a course specialist on the day and that run will blow the cobwebs away.
King George Trends
- 20 / 20 (79%) – Last success was not in a handicap
- 19 / 20 (56%) – 12-1 or shorter in the betting
- 19 / 20 (60%) – Previously won a Grade 1
- 19 / 20 (62%) – Sent off no bigger than 6/1 LTO
- 19 / 20 (64%) – Placed within last 70 days
- 19 / 20 (72%) – Furthest ran between 3m & 3m5f
- 19 / 20 (74%) – Ran in a non handicap LTO
- 19 / 20 (74%) – Last win came in a field of 4-9 runners
- 18 / 20 (71%) – Ran in either a G1 or G2 LTO
- 17 / 20 (60%) – Last win came off at least 11-7
- 14 / 20 (52%) – Ridden at least twice by jockey