King George VI Chase Preview – Patiently Waiting for Kempton win

Say Christmas to any jumps racing fan and they don’t think of Santa Claus and excessive eating. The King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day is the main event for this sport over the festivities and this year’s renewal looks a cracker.

Reigning champion Might Bite looks up against it, but which of his rivals might take his crown?

Waiting Patiently the key for punters?

Ruth Jefferson has been taking her time with unbeaten and impressive chaser Waiting Patiently. He was last spotted winning a Grade One at Ascot in the spring over 2m5f and threatens to go from strength to strength over staying trips.

He has achieved a rating of 170 on his efforts thus far, with a perfect seven wins from seven over fences. There should be plenty more to come and stamina doesn’t look an issue.

Big guns lining up

Favourite Might Bite is 3.25 to cling to his crown but even trainer Nicky Henderson admits he has a big job on after last month’s flop at Haydock.

Bristol De Mai won the Betfair Chase for the second year running and was deeply impressive in doing so, but Nigel Twiston-Davies’ grey has failed in this race before and remains with something to prove for this particular test. He can be opposed at 7.50.

Gold Cup hero Native River is 7.00 and was an honourable second last month on Merseyside but Kempton isn’t the sort of track that plays into his hands, with the emphasis more on pure speed than out and out stamina.

All eyes on Politologue

The big danger could be Politologue, 6.00 to hand Paul Nicholls a landmark tenth King George win. The grey is a Grade One-winning two-miler but he impressed last time at Ascot and connections feel he will get this new trip.

Thistlecrack was the winner of this race in 2016 and is trainer Colin Tizzard’s second contender now.

He has had his troubles with injury since and raced only sparingly as a result. There was enough in his Haydock to reappearance to suggest he’s got some hopes of regaining this particular crown at odds of 8.00.

Coneygree is another to have suffered his share of setbacks and the former C&D winner is very tough to predict now, with fewer positive than negatives.

Be Double quick on the value

For punters seeking a chunk of value for a sporting interest, look no further than 51.00 change Double Shuffle, second to Might Bite in this race a year ago.

Tom George’s runner chased home Definitly Red in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last month, having fallen at Wetherby on his reappearance before he jumped a fence. With doubts over some of the principles, he should arguably be shorter than the price he returned last year!

King George Verdict: Waiting Patiently to win @ 6.00, Double Shuffle to outrun his price at 51.00