Supplemented Junior well worth an each-way King George flutter
Sizing Europe and First Lieutenant were the defections at the five-day declaration stage ahead of the King George on Boxing Day, but it is the late addition to the field of Junior that is of the most interest.
Junior has been installed at 20/1 to win the Kempton showpiece and is now one of 14 horses still in line to take their chance.
However, given the continuous rain, there is a strong likelihood that the field will be trimmed by race day.
This will be of no concern to connections of Junior and it is the heavy conditions that have encouraged them to take their chance.
Many of the leading entrants are by no means guaranteed stayers on quicker ground and so boggier conditions will put even more strain on their already suspect stamina.
This certainly opens up the battle for the places at Kempton and 20/1 is decent each-way price for a horse that is a definite starter and is certain to get home.
Junior did win on his comeback run this season in a Listed Race at Newcastle and his current official rating is on par with stablemate Grands Crus and only a few lbs shy of Captain Chris.
The decision to supplement Junior will also generate opinion over whether Grands Crus will take part, especially after running slightly disappointingly in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.
Junior’s trainer David Pipe said: “It will obviously be soft ground, which will put the emphasis on stamina and the owners [Middleham Park Racing] were keen to give him an entry.
“They have paid £10,000 and we only did it at two minutes to 12, but I can see where they’re coming from.”
Long Run, another with more proven stamina than most, remains the favourite for the King George at 2/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date