King George Chase Form Guide 2011
The Paul Nicholls trained Master Minded has been aimed at the King George on Boxing Day ever since he won at Aintree in the Melling Chase back in April. That win was his first effort at the extra trip after spending most of his career over the two mile Champion Chase distance. Connections were keen to try the dual Champion Chase winner over extra after he appeared to lack the spend needed over two miles anymore and the King George will be his first run over 3 miles. We saw Master Minded run in the Old Roan Chase earlier this season but he was well below par when only third behind Albertas Run to the disappointment of favourite backers. A horse of his class deserves a second chance here but he will need to have improved massively to challenge Long Run at Kempton.
The Nicky Henderson horse proved himself the top chaser in the country last season when he won the King George and the Gold Cup and he will go back to Kempton as the warm favourite. We have seen him once this season when he was second in the Betfair Chase behind the resurgent Kauto Star at Haydock. Long Run made a number of jumping mistakes at Haydock which is the worry but he should improve for the run and will go into the race on Boxing Day as the deserved favourite.
The legendary Kauto Star has thrown his name back into the King George Chase frame this season with his brilliant win in the Betfair Chase at Haydock recently. Most people had written Kauto off before Haydock as he approaches the grand old age of 12 but his Betfair win was highly impressive. It is worth noting that Kauto Star has won the King George Chase four times and enjoys Kempton. Kauto beat Long run in the Betfair Chase but he will have a tough time trying to do it again with the current Gold Cup hero five years his junior.
Henrietta Knight has long though highly of Somersby and he will be a big danger on Boxing Day if as expected he goes to Kempton. He has abeen a top class horse at two miles and is being stepped up in trip this season with the three miles of the King George expected to suit. We saw him chase Master Minded home recently in the Amlin Chase at Ascot and has to be respected although it might be asking too much for him to claim the win against the top class chasers on show here.
The Phillip Hobbs trained Captain Chris is being aimed towards the King George on Boxing Day and he could be a star chaser of the future. Last season we saw Captain Chris win the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in impressive style and the thought has always been that he will improve the further he goes. Captain Chris made his seasonal debut at Exeter in the Haldon Gold cup at the start of November, he unseated Richard Johnson at the second last though to gasps from punters. It appeared that day Captain Chris would have won but backing him for the King George will have to be something of a leap of faith, he could be anything at this stage.