Lostintranslation and Cyrname have been installed as 5/2 joint favourites for the King George VI Chase after both horses pulled off strong victories in November. It is the second leg of the Triple Crown of Jumps Racing and one of the most important races in the British National Hunt Calendar. The King George takes place on December 26 at Kempton over a distance of 3 miles, with 18 fences to be jumped. It always attracts a stellar field and it will certainly not be a two-horsed race. These are the leading contenders for glory according to the odds at the best sports betting sites:
Colin Tizzard’s seven-year-old chaser moved to the top of the ante-post lists for the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the leading sports betting sites after a superb victory in the Betfair Chase last month. He went into the race – the first leg of the Triple Crown, which concludes with the Gold Cup – as the 5/4 joint favourite along with Bristol De Mai, who was bidding for a third straight triumph. It proved to be an epic duel between the pair of them, and Lostintranslation ultimately prevailed. He shot up alongside Bristol De Mai on the home straight and assuaged any concerns about his stamina by pulling away and seizing victory.
It announced Lostintranslation as a rising star of jumps racing. Tizzard has saddled some superb stayers in recent years – including three-time Betfair Chase winner Cue Card, World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack and Gold Cup champion Native River – but he said Lostintranslation jumps better than any of them, which is high praise indeed. He is immaculate at the fences, he stays well and he boasts blistering pace, so he will be a dangerous opponent at Kempton.
The most exciting showdown of the season saw Cyrname lock horns with Altior in the Christy Chase. Altior was unbeaten in his magnificent, record-breaking jumps racing career, and he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the past two Cheltenham Festivals. Yet he was stepping up in trip in
a bid to go down the King George route, and he came up against a bang in form Cyrname, who is a specialist over 2m 5f. He had previously delivered impressive victories over that distance, particularly in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase in February, but Altior understandably went off as the 1/3 favourite.
However, he proved no match for 5/2 shot Cyrname on the day. Paul Nicholls’ star chaser did not allow Altior to take up his customary position at the front and ultimately pulled away with a devastating burst of pace along the home straight. Both horses are expected to end up at the King George on Boxing Day, and Cyrname has already proven his ability to outlast Altior, but whether or not he can get the better of the brilliant Lostintranslation is another matter entirely.
Clan Des Obeaux
Clan Des Obeaux pulled off a stunning victory in last year’s King George VI Chase. The build-up focused on a showdown between Gold Cup winner Native River and the ever improving Might Bite, and very few pundits gave Clan Des Obeaux a chance as he went off at 15/2. Yet he delivered an excellent performance to hand Nicholls a 10th win in the famous race ahead of Thistelcrack and Native River, and he will be back to defend his crown alongside stablemate Cyrname on December 26. Jockey Harry Cobden will have to choose between the two horses, and he is yet to make up his mind as they are both so impressive. Nicholls recently said he is delighted with the progress Clan Des Obeaux has made over the past few months, and he will be a formidable contender at Kempton.
Footpad could represent Willie Mullins’ best chance of success in this race. He announced his potential by winning the Arkle at Cheltenham in 2018, but gave a disappointing performance in the Ryanair Chase earlier this year. Yet he won on his seasonal reappearance at Thurles last month and he is the sort of chaser that could upset the odds. Mullins may also unleash Douvan, who was the most highly regarded horse in the UK before injuries hampered his progress.
There is also a chance that Altior will return to the fold and blitz all of his rivals in a blaze of glory. His reputation has been dented by that defeat to Cyrname, but stepping up in trip was never going to be easy, and he could be a major contender after more work in training. Throw in the likes of Thistlecrack, Chacun Pour Soi, Might Bite and Bristol De Mai and you have an exciting field packed full of top talent, so it should be a brilliant race.