With the festive season well and truly under way it can only mean one thing for racing fans – the King George VI Chase is just around the corner!
The second most prestigious event of the British jumps calendar, past winners of the King George include greats such as Kauto Star, who won the race a record-breaking five times, and last year’s runner-up Cue Card who won it in 2015.
This year’s renewal boasts another star-studded line-up with market leaders Might Bite, Bristol De Mai and reigning champion Thistlecrack, all looking to take their chances.
Might Bite won two Grade 1s last season, including the RSA Novice’s Chase at the Cheltenham festival and made an impressive seasonal reappearance at Sandown last month.
The 3m at Kempton looks ideal for him and this will have been the target for Nicky Henderson’s lightly raced eight-year-old for some time.
So it’s easy to see why he sits at the head of market affairs, and at 6/4 he looks to have a solid chance.
Bristol De Mai will be going for the triple crown and the lucrative £1million bonus to boot, meaning Top Notch, who is from the same connections, won’t be lining up come race day.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey hacked up in the mud at Haydock on his latest outing, beating Cue Card in the Lancashire Chase by an official winning margin of 57l. The bottomless ground looks to have exaggerated the form, however.
The Colin Tizzard-trained pair of Thistlecrack and Cue Card will both have questions to answer surrounding their chances.
The pair’s fitness along with how much ability they still retain both cause for concern after they disappointed last time out.
But Tizzard’s other fancy, Tingle Creek runner-up Fox Norton will be stepping up to tackle 3m for the first time. At 6/1 we expect this progressive sort owned by the late Ann and Alan Potts to run a big race.
Irish raider Disko at 16/1 also catches the eye for Gigginstown House Stud and could provide punters each- way.
He came third in the JLT Novice’s chase at Cheltenham before landing a Grade 1 victory at Punchestown.
Noel Meade’s lightly raced six-year-old made a pleasing seasonal reappearance at Downpatrick over a trip shorter than his optimum and he looks another likely type who can take a big step forward.
Click here for our full King George odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.