Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 15:47 23/12/2013
Nine horses have been declared for Kempton's King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day although last year's neck runner-up Captain Chris is not one of them as the Philip Hobbs-trained gelding was ruled out of the Grade 1 contest after suffering a minor injury during a routine schooling session on Monday morning. The Willie Mullins-trained Prince De Beauchene was the only other defection for the Christmas showpiece worth over £113k to the winner in which only two points cover the first four horses in the betting.
Having already advised backing Long Run each-way at 20-1 to gain his third victory in the race we have certainly got a value bet as the son of Cadoudal is now no bigger than 10-1 to follow up last year's hard-faught win and with conditions likely to be once again on the testing side the 8-year-old must have a great chance, despite starting the season with a couple of below-par runs.
Cue Card has headed the ante-post market since his comprehensive Betfair Chase victory over three of his Boxing Day rivals in Dynaste, Silviniaco Conti and Long Run but Colin Tizzard's Ryanair Chase winner has drifted in the betting over the last couple of days due in part to the likely soft ground as well as concerns over the virus currently affecting the stable. Al Ferof looks short enough at 4-1 considering the grey beat his sole rival on his reappearance since returning from injury and is unproven over the distance while there is no reason why Silviniaco Conti should reverse Haydock form with the David Pipe runner Dynaste, and it is the grey son of Martaline who is likely to prove the one they all have to beat in the three mile contest sponsored by bookmaker William Hill.
The 7-year-old was a top class staying hurdler and once sent over fences quickly made his mark as an outstanding novice, the highlight being a superb victory in Kempton's Kauto Star Feltham Novices' Chase when slamming Hadrian's Approach and Third Intention in a time quicker than Long Run's King George on the same card. The mount of Tom Scudamore is strongly fancied to reverse the form with Cue Card over this course and at the 7-2 available with Betvictor is taken to fight out the finish with Sam Waley-Cohen and Long Run.