The King George VI Chase is second only to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in terms of prestigious in the 3m division in the UK and Ireland. This year’s Boxing Day feature at Kempton could be a fantastic renewal as the entries for the race look very strong.
Credit: BHA Press Office via Twitter
Last season’s RSA Chase winner Might Bite tops the betting at 7/4 to win the biggest prize of his career so far. As you can see at Timeform, on his seasonal reappearance at Sandown, he scored by eight lengths in a faultless performance as he always looked in control at the Esher-track in the Listed contest.
Connections will be hoping their talented chaser can have success in the top graded races outside of novice company. The eight-year-old was prone to the odd mistake last season. In the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on the King George card, he was on course for an emphatic victory before falling at the last fence. The Cheltenham Festival winner also almost threw his large lead away in the RSA Chase when he veered to the right up the hill at Prestbury Park, before jockey Nico De Boinville was able to straighten him up again.
Might Bite could face strong opposition from Thistlecrack and Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai at Kempton. Question marks have to be asked about last year’s champion though as he struggled to get home at Newbury on his comeback run. Bristol De Mai, on the other hand, was a 57-length winner at Haydock in the first leg of the Chase Triple Crown; however, he won’t have the luxury of facing such poor opposition this time around.
Whisper is a stablemate of Might Bite’s and has some solid form just behind last season’s champion novice. Not only was the nine-year-old second behind the RSA Chase winner at Cheltenham, he also chased him home at Aintree in the Mildmay Novices Chase.
After a winning return at Kempton last month, Whisper ran a brilliant race in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury where he finished second, just half a length behind the winner Total Recall. That was an impressive weight-carrying performance and one in which should give his connections the confidence that he could be set for a big season. At 20/1, he looks overpriced to finally beat Might Bite in a Grade One chase.
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Politologue proved how much of a versatile chaser he is with victory in the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown recently, where he beat 2m specialist Fox Norton. Paul Nicholls’ runner has already won over 2m5f during his career therefore the King George trip is likely to be well within his reach.
At the age of just six, there could be a lot more to come from this grey as his peak years look to be ahead of him. If connections do take a chance in the King George later this month, he would be a huge price at 25/1 to pull off what would be an extraordinary chase double in December.
Likeliest winner: Might Bite
Value bets: Whisper @20/1 and Politologue @ 25/1