The annual Boxing Day jump racing bonanza presents another potential Ladbrokes King George VI Chase classic as the staying star of the season so far, Lost In Translation, faces his stiffest challenge yet in the form of Cyrname who recently ended Altior’s run of 19 undefeated races.
The Paul Nicholls star is yet to prove himself over the longer distance of 3 miles whilst Lost In Translation has firmly established himself as the leading chaser in this division.
It’s a fascinating clash as the Kempton 3 miles has always proven to be an interesting meeting point between the speedy 2 mile chasers (who might stay further) and dogged stayers of the 3m+ division. However, it’s a star studded line up so we’ll assess the chances of the other entries as well as the front two.
The current favourite, Cyrname, has plenty to prove despite beating Altior but owner Johnny de la Hey is confident he will handle the step up in distance.
Cyrname, one of our ten to follow for the 2019-20 jumps season, is another Paul Nicholls superstar who could be on the threshold of following in the footsteps of previous Ditcheat legends such as Kauto Star and Master Minded.
Widely regarded as the underdog to Altior in his first start to the season at Ascot, he saw off the Nicky Henderson trained Champion Chaser with a bold front running performance that wasn’t too dissimilar to his thumping of decent Grade One rivals back in February this year at the same track.
The question that remains is whether this seven year old can perform to this level on other tracks and step up in trip. Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, owner Johnny de la Hey, seemed reasonably bullish regarding Cyrname’s chances in the King George:
"I don't think I'm too worried about him going the extra distance," De la Hey told Sky Sports Racing.
"I think if the ground got really heavy that would be a bit more worrying, but he's run through the line every time at Ascot over two-mile-five so I think he should be fine.”
Cyrname also tips our verdict. It would be a different proposition over the Cheltenham Gold Cup distance but the Kempton King George trip has always suited the speedier staying types.
Past winners such as One Man, Teeton Mill, Edredon Bleu and Silviniaco Conti never proved themselves as out and out stayers but were lethal over this course and distance and Cyrname certainly seems to fit into this category.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
The Colin Tizzard trained seven year old has impressed many this season and looks to have improved substantially after upping his distance to the 3 mile division.
His superb win over Top Of The Game, the RSA Chase winner, at Aintree in April was followed up by an impressive patient ride from Robbie Power to take the coveted Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.
He’s everything a stayer needs to be and if he can keep tabs with Cyrname on this tight track in terms of jumping prowess and travelling speed, he has every chance.
However, for me he is everything a Gold Cup horse should be and I’m not entirely confident he will be a match for Cyrname in this type of race.
CLANS DES OBEAUX
Last year’s King George winner Clans Des Obeaux completes an impressive team for Paul Nicholls. His one reappearance run this season in the Down Royal Ladbrokes Champions Chase will have him in tip top condition for this.
He is almost the forgotten horse in this race and if he repeats anything like his effort from last year, he cannot be ignored.
Willie Mullins’ 2018 Arkle winner has a little to prove based on recent outings. The trip is also a huge question mark. However, there is plenty to like about this talented chaser and he looked fairly impressive on his seasonal reappearance last month. Best watched on this occasion.
Best priced 10/1 with Coral
Colin Tizzard’s veteran campaigner still retains bags of ability as an eleven year old and demonstrated that he can still give the best a scare judging by his brilliant second to World Hurdle champion Paisley Park at Newbury recently.
His record around Kempton is also exemplary, having won The King George as a novice and finishing a gallant second to Clan Des Obeaux last year.
Definitely should not be ruled out and would have been a first rate each way chance if eight runners were going to post.
Very difficult to oppose Cyrname on his favoured right handed route. His ability and talent was clear to see in his last two runs and he could improve even more.
If this was a stiffer stamina test, Lost In Translation would probably tip the scales, however, the Paul Nicholls trained horse was chosen by Harry Cobden to ride in preference over Clan Des Obeaux and that is clearly a positive sign.
HORSE RACING BETTING OFFERS
Kempton Races - Betfair Exchange Offer Money back as cash if your horse goes odds on in-play and loses
Key Terms of the Offer:
Applies to specified races or meetings each day, see schedule for details. Win market only. £10 max refund, min odds 4.0. T&Cs apply. Existing customers.
MONEY BACK AS CASH UP TO £20 IF YOUR BET LOSES ON THE FIRST RACE AT KEMPTON
Key Terms of the Offer:
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/£20. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 on Racing and Get £30 Racing Bonus + £10 Casino Bonus
Key Terms of the Offer:
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Once your £10 qualifying bet is settled £30 Racing bonus will be triggered. Wagering requirements: Racing 1x, odds of 2.00 minimum (1/1) for each bet placed. £10 Casino Bonus, 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time. Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino bonus, unless the Racing bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in
Best priced odds. All odds are correct at the time of publishing (18:00 21st December 2019) and are subject to change.