With Al Ferof out of the King George because of injury, Paul Nicholls looks to be down to just the one challenger, but Kauto Stone may have been underestimated in the betting.
Kauto Stone is still available at 10/1 to win the King George and some value remains in this price, even it has shortened in recent weeks.
There are sufficient doubts about the majority above him in the betting and the one thing that Kauto Stone does have is winning form over 3m, which also happened to be in the Grade One Jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal on his last start.
Cue Card is second favourite in the betting at 4/1 and comments from his yard suggest that he is primed for a big race.
However, he is unproven against this level of opposition, with a Grade Two being his most lucrative chase victory to date.
Meanwhile, this is his first try at 3m and so he is not guaranteed to stay.
Riverside Theatre is top price with Ladbrokes at 6/1, but has shown his best form over 2m5f.
He has finished second in this race before, his only defeat in five starts at Kempton, and so must enter each-way calculations.
The doubt is whether he is good enough over this trip to reverse prior King George form with Long Run, who is 9/4 favourite this time.
Captain Chris will enjoy racing right-handed, but is another with stamina concerns at 8/1, while Grands Crus has been below par this season and is hard to trust at 10/1, even if he won the Feltham at Kempton last year when Bobs Worth was among those behind.
Another thing in Kauto Stone’s favour is that he is now set to be the mount of Ruby Walsh, who knows the race like the back of his hand with five victories in the last six years.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date