2013 King George VI Chase Form Guide
The Colin Tizzard trained Cue Card is the likely favourite for the King George this season after a thrilling last 12 months. The seven year-old bombed out in this race 12 months ago but since then he has bounced back in great style to win two of the biggest races in the sport. He stormed clear of the pack to win the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival before finally putting to bed any stamina doubts in the Betfair Chase. The Haydock Park race was one of the highest quality in recent memory but Cue Card was far too good for the likes of Dynaste, Silviniaco Conti and Long Run among others to claim his first win over three miles.
The grey Dynaste is an improving second season chaser who could be a major player at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. Dynaste was good enough to finish second in the Jewson Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season but it is over three miles where we expect to see the very best of him. The seven-year-old produced a career best last time out when he finished second behind Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. He jumped really well that day, before loving the trip, which should see him right in the mix at Kempton. That day he struggled to land a blow on cue Card but his fast jumping style proved too good for dour stayers like Long Run and Silviniaco Conti, among others. It should also be noted that Dynaste loved Kempton last year when he won the Feltham Novices Chase on the King George card.
Paul Nicholls has been synonymous with the King George in recent years thanks to the exploits of Kauto Star but this year the Ditcheat handler will be putting much of his faith in Al Ferof. There is no doubt that the popular grey horse is a classy animal and it is fair to say that even at this stage, we don't know how good he could be. He is a former winner of the Supreme Novices Hurdle over two miles as well as a former winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. He returned to action after an injury lay-off recently to win the Amlin Chase at Ascot, beating just one opponent in French Opera, and the owners are clearly eager to test the horse over three miles at Kempton. Interesting runner.
It is impossible to ignore the claims of Long Run in the King George betting this year with the Nicky Henderson horse being aimed at a third win in the race. Twelve months ago, Long Run stayed on brilliantly to close down Captain Chris in the shadow of the winning post to win the race and that alone ensures that he is to be respected here. Since then, Long Run has been consistent with a third placed finish in the Gold Cup followed up by a fourth placed finish last time out in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. That was a solid run by the horse, but he looked a little one paced against the likes of Cue Card and Dynaste in a quickly run race which would be a worry here. The feeling is that Long Run has developed into a dour stayer over the past year and if the ground comes up soft on Boxing Day, he would have to be given a serious chance of a third win.
Paul Nicholls has another interesting runner in the mix for the King George in the form of the smart Silviniaco Conti. The seven year-old won the Betfair Chase and the Denman Chase last season before falling three out in the Gold Cup when travelling well at the time. He has had just the one run so far this season and that came in the cue Card Betfair Chase last month with Silviniaco Conti running a solid third place at Haydock Park. He jumped well that day but got a little outpaced by the likes of Cue Card and Dynaste who both jumped and travelled a little bit quicker. The feeling is that we still don't quite know how good Silviniaco Conti is ahead of this race but he is clearly a classy animal who is a strong stayer for Nicholls.