Tom Scudamore’s kidney injury from last weekend’s National Hunt action at Sandown left Madison Du Berlais’s owner David Pipe with a problem.
Scudamore was due to ride 33/1 shot Madison Du Berlais in Saturday’s King George VI Chase, but with Scudamore out, Pipe had to find another jockey.
With plenty of top class jockeys still searching for a ride in the race, Pipe could of had his pick of the bunch but instead the Devon trainer has decided to go with claimer Danny Cook.
Cook has ridden 12 winners this season – including a winner at Taunton on the 10th – and has been aboard some big winners for the yard in Our Vic and Great Endeavour, a winner at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival last year.
Madison Du Berlais finished second in last year’s King George VI chase but since then has fallen on two of his five starts, finished second in one and fourth in the other two.
The horses inconsistency is the reason behind its price (33/1) being so large in the King George betting and Pipe may be taking a gamble in putting his faith in the young claimer, although Pipe would say that Cook has ridden a winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
Should Madison Du Berlais produce a performance somewhere near his best then he is definitely in with a chance of upsetting the 4/6 odds-on favourite Kauto Star, and with Ladbrokes offering 1/4 odds for a first three place, Madison Du Berlais is 8/1 to finish in the first three.
Kauto Star is still the horse to beat as he chases his fifth consecutive King George VI Chase win but the Paul Nicholls-trained star will have nine rivals chasing him down on Saturday in what is sure to be an historic event.
A £25 stake on Kauto Star winning the King George would return £41.67. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.