King George VI Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 3.05 at Kempton Park, 26th December 2018
This one has been dominated by Cheltenham Gold Cup winners and contenders in recent years which indicated the class of the contest and this year is no different. With huge prize money and great prestige, the King George attracts some of the best horses around and is always a thrilling Christmas-time race, loved by racing fans and punters.
King George VI Chase Betting Tips – 26 Dec 2018
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
- Tips coming soon…
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King George VI Chase 2018 Ante Post Tips
Always the standout contest of the winter months, the historic King George VI Chase from Kempton Park annually serves up a real Christmas cracker of a chase, and if even half of the big names currently entered for the 2018 edition stand their ground, we look set to be in for an outstanding renewal.
Bite Best Again?
Currently heading the betting at 9/4 with Betfair is Nicky Henderson’s defending champion, Might Bite. Previously one of the most entertaining horses in the game due to his at times unpredictable antics, this son of Scorpion really got his act together last season, knuckling down to confirm himself a chaser of the highest order. Not all observers were impressed with his one length success over Double Shuffle in this, but he was really a pretty comfortable winner on the day and went on to back that performance up with a gallant second to Native River in that epic Cheltenham Gold Cup duel, and a thumping success in the Betway Bowl at Aintree.
Cheltenham King River To Rule?
Chief amongst the opposition as it stands though is none other than the current Cheltenham Gold Cup King, Native River. The Colin Tizzard runner broke the heart of Might Bite coming up the Cheltenham Hill that day, but will he be able to do the same at this more speed favouring track and over a 2f shorter trip? The eight year old is currently an 9/1 shot with Betfair.
Patiently Worth The Wait?
One of the most interesting contenders in the field is the Ruth Jefferson representative, Waiting Patiently. On a seven race winning streak at the time of writing, this smooth travelling sort was forced to miss the big spring festivals last season due to an injury setback, but is reportedly now fit and ready to go again. If able to pick up where he left off last season, this seven year old son of Flemensfirth looks to be potentially one of the real stars of the season. Signing off his last campaign with an impressive first career Grade 1 success, when seeing off the gallant Cue Card in the Ascot Chase, he looks a danger to all at 7/1 with Betfair.
Awesome Altior Up To The Challenge?
Rated 175, only Native River is ahead of the unbeaten in fourteen Altior according to the handicapper. Six times a winner at the highest level, including a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Chase and Queen Mother Champion Chase, the rumour mill suggests that he may well be stepped up to this sort of trip in time. Until he shows that he does stay though, that move up from 2m will be the biggest quandary facing potential backers, brilliant as he is. Additionally, with Might Bite already in the reckoning, we suspect trainer Nicky Henderson may keep him over shorter for now at least. He’s a 12/1 shot with Bet365 and would add a whole new layer of intrigue should he stand his ground.
Irish Challenge Must Be Respected
Not since the back to back successes of Kicking King in 2004 and 2005 has one of the biggest chases on the British calendar fallen to an Irish raider. With plenty of big targets also available over in Ireland over the Festive period, it remains to be seen who makes the trip over this year, but there’s certainly no shortage of high-class potential challengers.
Noel Meade’s Road To Respect (16/1 with Betfair) looks a real improving sort and opened his account for the year with a sixteen length demolition of the field in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal
Also currently entered is the Willie Mullins trained, Footpad (14/1 with Betfair). Talented over hurdles, this one is threatening to be brilliant over a fence. Five from five last term, his final two Grade 1 triumphs came by a combined 26 lengths as he proved way to good for the opposition. With all of those wins having come at around 2m though, the big question mark surrounding this one – as with Altior – is the trip, and he did fall on his seasonal comeback.
When it comes to the Irish trainers it would be remiss not to mention the all-conquering Gordon Elliott. Elliot doesn’t appear to have an obvious standout contender for this at present, but the vibes from the yard seem to be that the mare Shattered Love could be the one for the major staying chases this season. A seven-length winner of the JLT Novices’ Chase last season, she’s clearly a talented performer on her day, but is she up to this class? The Gigginstown House Stud runner can be backed at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.
King George VI Chase Preview Winners
- 2017 – Might Bite – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2016 – Thistlecrack – jockey Tom Scudamore, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2015 – Cue Card – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2014 – Silviniaco Conti – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2013 – Silviniaco Conti – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2012 – Long Run – jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2011 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2010 – Long Run – jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2009 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2008 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2006 – Kauto Star – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2005 – Kicking King – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Tom Taaffe
King George VI Chase History
The historic King George VI Chase is brought to us from Kempton Park race course and has been contested almost every year since its founding in back in 1937. It is a Grade 1 National Hunt chase ran over a distance of roughly three miles, with 18 fences to be jumped along the way. It is open to all horses aged four years or older and is usually a fixed fixture on Boxing Day every year as part of the William Hill Winter Festival.
The event was run just twice before the Second World War as Kempton Park was actually closed for racing in order to be used as a prisoner-of-war camp. It is perceived as the second most prestigious chase in England, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup being the only to surpass its reputation.
14 horses have managed to win this race on more than one occasion, with two standing above the rest with four and five wins each. The first is Desert Orchid, who managed to win here in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990. The second, and most recent, is Kauto Star. This legendary horse managed five triumphant runs in this race between the years 2006 and 2011. As a result, Kauto Star holds the record for the most wins in this event and also ensured that his jockey on each of these occasions, Ruby Walsh, holds claim to the leading jockey accolade.
Paul Nicholls, the trainer of Kauto Star, has managed to have three of his trained horses win this one. The other two of his horses are See More Business, who won in 1997 and 1999, and Silviniaco Conti, who is his most recent success story having won in 2013 and 2014. Nicholls has accumulated an astonishing nine wins in the King George VI, far more than any other trainer to have horses entered in this race in the past.
It has been in the race’s more recent history that a number of race records have been eclipsed, but one that has remained since the very first running of this event has been the record for the oldest horse to have ever won here. Since 1937, this record has remained in the possession of Southern Hero, who won the first contest of this event at the grand old age of 12. Similarly, the record for the youngest horse to have ever won the King George VI Chase remains as Manicou, a five-year-old horse who achieved victory back in 1950.