With the National Hunt season fast approaching, eyes will already be cast upon the King George VI Chase, as two of last season’s most exciting novices in Simonsig and Dynaste look set to take on some of the most acclaimed chasers in racing.
And it is Simonsig who leads the market priced at 4/1. Nicky Henderson’s star took to fences extremely impressively, winning his first two contests by a combined 84 lengths. He then landed the Arkle and his second Cheltenham Festival victory, but it was far from an easy task.
He looked extremely fresh, making his first mistakes over fences in public and Barry Geraghty had to rally as Irish raider Bally Green tracked him to the line and for the first time the seven-year-old looked fallible.
Backers can also be rightly concerned about the trip with 2m3f the furthest distance raced at last year and Henderson opting to avoid 3m when hurdling too.
It is for this reason that it could be worth taking him on with fellow grey Dynaste, 7/1, at the prices.
Had David Pipe’s stable star held on when headed at the last in the Jewson Novice’s Chase, he would probably be contesting favouritism this time. Cheltenham has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for the classy jumper, who is 1-4 at the Gloucester track, and his win at Aintree reminded all what an exceptional talent he is.
However, it is not that victory which makes him such a tempting prospect for the Boxing Day showpiece, but his victory at the same meeting in the Kauto Star Feltham Novices’ Chase.
Dynaste jumped impeccably and stayed extremely well to win by a comfortable nine lengths under a hands and heels ride by Tom Scudamore.
He will be looking to emulate Long Run, who went on to win the King George after landing the same contest and should his course and distance form hold up, he will most certainly shorten for the Gold Cup in March.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10