Native River To Reign Supreme In King George VI Chase
There is no shortage of betting opportunities today in the world of sport and after three days of no racing we have 11 meetings between Ireland and England including action on the all-weather at Wolverhampton!
Today’s selection is a Lucky 15 to keep an interest throughout the day with a few decent priced horses thrown in.
Leg one – Polished Steel (1.25 Limerick)
The first leg is likely to be the shortest in the betting. The Jessica Harrington-trained Polished Steel would look one of the best bets of this St. Stephen’s Day. The maiden hurdle down at the Munster track is for horses who have never been placed in the first three in a National Hunt race and while that wouldn’t maybe inspire an “all in” approach, Polished Steel is taking a massive drop in class after being fourth in two runs in much better company.
It looks a good bit of placing from Harrington and the four-year-old should be hard to beat with a step up in trip to suit as well.
Being by Jeremy the ground should also be a plus.
Leg two – The World’s End (1.55 Kempton)
RSA Chase favourite Santini pitches up in the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton and is favourite to start what could be another massive day for Nicky Henderson. However, The Worlds End might be able to cause an upset here.
A Grade 1 winner over hurdles as a novice, The Worlds End is two from three over fences and put his Cheltenham defeat on his penultimate start right by beating Ibis Du Rheu convincingly last time out. It’ll be hard for Adrian Heskin to watch from the sidelines if the horse does go and win today but it will be an added incentive for him to look forward to in his rehab.
The Worlds End just has that extra bit of age and experience with 15 runs under his belt and he is actually rated 3lbs higher than the favourite so 5/1 looks a bit of value here.
Leg three – Kildorerry (2.55 Leopardstown)
Ted Walsh is no stranger to landing a nice prize at Leopardstown and the Grand National winning trainer could be set for another St Stephen’s Day winner with Kildorrery.
Walsh’s charge lines up in the handicap chase with stable conditional Michael Stenson claiming 7lbs off and after a couple of nice runs in novice company Kildorrery might be able to make his mark on his handicap chase debut.
Kildorrery can be a bit quirky at times but Stenson appears to get a good tune out of him and he is actually a horse that will appreciate the ground being a shade quicker than normal at Leopardstown this Christmas.
Kildorrery beat Duca De Thaix at Punchestown and the latter has come out and won a handicap off 133 since while he also ran well behind Voix Du Reve at the same track and that Willie Mullins runner is fancied for Grade 1 success today so Kildorrery is worth including here at 7.1.
Leg four – Native River (3.05 Kempton)
The King George is certainly the highlight of this hectic day of action and it really does look like a fascinating renewal.
The last two winners, Thistlecrack and Might Bite, will have their supporters but Gold Cup winner Native River can rule supreme here.
Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old ran a fine race on his come back behind Haydock lover Bristol De Mai last time out in the Betfair Chase and with that run under his belt Dickie Johnson can boss it from the front on the Gold Cup hero.
Native River stayed on gamely in the closing stages at Haydock and it is just somewhat surprising that he is coming in under the radar for a Gold Cup winner. 7/1 looks a big price about a horse who has proven himself to be the best in this grade.