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.
- Might Bite to win at 5/2 with bet365
- Thistlecrack each way at 13/2 with Ladbrokes
- Betfair 50/1 Might Bite offer – new customers only, 18+, Ts and Cs apply
King George VI Chase Free Bets and Betting Offers
- CORAL BET £5, GET £20 IN FREE BETS – Significant Terms: 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
- TOTESPORT £20 NEW CUSTOMER OFFER – Significant Terms: New customers only. 18+. Stake £10 on any Sportsbook market for the first time, at odds of evens (2.0) or greater and get a £10 Free Bet within 24 hours of settlement, 7 day expiry. Stake £10 on any Totepool bet for the first time, and receive £10 back in cash within 24 hours of settlement. Full T&Cs Apply.
King George VI Chase Tips
The Christmas cheer extends far beyond one day if you’re a racing fan. The traditional Boxing Day racing fixtures always provide top class racing and there is an undoubted highlight in the shape of the King George VI Chase. This is one of the biggest steeplechases of the season and this year’s renewal is shaping up to be particularly competitive. All manner of top class horses remain in the betting but can any of the challengers stop last year’s winner and bookie favourite, Might Bite?
Kempton Return to Bring the Best Out of Might Bite
Might Bite has been the ante post favourite for the 2018 King George ever since his win 12 months ago. Nicky Henderson’s charge showed just how classy an operator he is with that win at Kempton but some judges questioned how good the form actually was. There is no doubt that Might Bite faces a tougher set of opponents this time around whilst his most recent performance hardly gave those already on board reason to be confident.
Despite being sent off as the evens favourite for the Betfair Chase at Haydock, Might Bite finished at the back of the pack. He travelled well enough but had no answer when the pressure was turned on in the closing stages which raised questions about whether he has what it takes to defend at Kempton.
A relatively poor performance first time out is nothing new for Might Bite though. He just does not race well when coming back from an extended break and was rated a stone better on his second performance in 2016 and 2017 compared to his first. He is also very well suited to the Winter course at Kempton which is not something you can say about Bristol De Mai or Native River despite their undoubted quality.
The 5/2 that bet365 are offering may look a little short after that Haydock disappointment but he remains very much the horse to beat and should be right back to his best on Boxing Day.
Thistlecrack to Prove He is No Has-been
When Thistlecrack won the King George in 2016 connections were hopeful that it was the start of a string of wins in the most prestigious and valuable steeplechases. Unfortunately he has suffered some serious injury problems ever since and it now appears that he will never be able to get back to the levels of two years ago.
There were positive signs for Thistlecrack’s legion of fans last time out at Haydock though, where he was strong enough to make up for some slight jumping errors which were understandable in his first race for the best part of a year. Like Might Bite, Thistlecrack is a horse who improves from his first run of the season to the second so he may well be able to claim at least a place at best odds of 13/2 with Ladbrokes.
Previous Race 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.