Author: Will Smith
Published: 17:40 24/03/2013
King George VI Chase :Kempton - 26th December 2013
After Big Occasion romped home in the Midlands National to end what had been an up and down Cheltenham week on a nice high, I felt it best to have a small self-imposed exile to recharge the batteries. It seems so too did any spring-like weather.
With the Lincoln being delayed by a week, there hasn’t been much to get my teeth stuck into. While the Irish Lincoln looks too tricky, so it is to the post-Cheltenham antepost markets that I have turned my attention.
Of all of them, the 2013 King George VI Chase market looks the most intriguing. Simonsig heads the market, and were he to go that route, would clearly command respect. While David Pipe’s two Feltham Chase winners Dynaste and Grand Crus, if arriving on the day in peak form, would also be on the shortlist.
But the one horse that I’ve always believed is tailor-made for the race is Captain Chris. He was beaten not by Long Run’s superior suitability for the race last year, but by the atrocious ground conditions. Best on good ground, but with an ability to handle soft conditions, Captain Chris can be backed at a ludicrous 25/1 for the race. Considering he was half a length of winning it in 2012 find that price insulting.
Admittedly it is nine months away and plenty can go wrong, but I’m willing to factor that in, as Philip Hobbs son of King’s Theatre is due to reappear in the Punchestown Gold Cup late next month. The right handed 3m there, with hopefully a bit of spring ground, will suit him ideally too. He won the Grade One 2m Novices’ Chase at the meeting two years ago, and Philip Hobbs has not left the Punchestown festival without a winner since 2007.
I can’t wait to back him for that race, and a good performance there will see 25/1 for the Kempton Christmas cracker shift rapidly. His tendency to jump right hindered his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the fact that he was still able to keep tabs on the principals despite losing two lengths at every fence just emphasises his huge level of ability.
King George VI Chase 2013:
Captain Chris - 25/1 - William Hill , Bet365 , Paddy Power