Who Will Win the King George VI Chase?

Author: Last Updated: December 26, 2023

Bravemansgame horse competition

Who Will Win the King George VI Chase?

Christmas is full of traditions and for horse racing fans, that means the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

This Grade 1 race over the jumps was first run in 1937. It’s an important race in the lead up to the Cheltenham Festival and promises to be a thrilling race this year. On December 26, can Bravemansgame win the race for the second year in a row or will an Irish raider be triumphant?

Allaho Favourite to Win

Willie Mullins has only twice trained the winner of this race. The Irish trainer’s first success was in 2001 and he had to wait 20 years for the other. This year he’s hopeful Allaho will provide him with his third success.

Allaho is the 13/8 favourite with bet365 to land his first King George V Chase. After 561 days off the track, Allaho made his return at Clonmel in November with a Grade 2 win. It wasn’t the greatest of performances and he’ll need to put in a better jumping performance for the two-time Ryanair Chase winner to come out on top here.

Another Irish raider is Shishkin who can be brilliant on his day. You can get 7/2 at BetVictor on the Nicky Henderson runner winning on Boxing Day.

The nine–year-old has only gone to post once this season. That was a Grade 2 race at Ascot and it didn’t go well. Shishkin was the 8/13 favourite but refused to race so hopefully that won’t happen at Kempton on Tuesday.

Shishkin has won nine times over the jumps and won the Aintree Bowl Chase in April. That came soon after his second in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, where a last fence mistake cost him the race. If he can actually start the race and cut out mistakes, then he’s certainly a good each-way bet.

BravemansGame Out to Win Second King George

Priced up at 2/1 by William Hill, Bravemansgame bids to win this race just as he did last year. The last horse to win successive King George VI Chases was Clan Des Obeaux in 2018 and 2019.

This runner is trained by Paul Nicholls and he’s won this race on a record 13 times, including four with the legendary Kauto Star.

Last year saw Bravemansgame win by 14 lengths from Royale Pagaille. A second place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup followed and that race is again his target for 2024.

The win in this race last year was his last success. Four races since then have produced three seconds and a third. This season has seen Bravemansgame finish second in both of his races and the eight-year-old does need to improve on those runs to win this race again.

The Real Whacker is another each-way prospect. Trained by Patrick Neville, this seven-year-old had won three races in a row before his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham last month. There were valid reasons for that disappointing run though.

Carrying 12 stone didn’t help (he only has 11st 10lbs here) and to make matters worse he went lame in his right fore after being struck by another runner. He’s a good jumper and at 8/1 with bet365 looks a value each-way wager.

Another to consider is Hewick and you can get odds of 14/1 at BetVictor. This eight–year-old is trained by John Hanlon and should come on from a disappointing race at Galway last August when carrying 11st 12lbs.

Notable performances last season included a Grade 2 success at Sandown. He led five out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup before falling. Definitely worth a small each-way wager.

Frodon won this race in 2020 giving Paul Nicholls yet another success in this race. Now aged 11, he was a creditable third at Wincanton in November and was third in the King George last year and is 33/1 at William Hill.

This promises to be a fascinating race. Can Allaho and Bravemansgame put below par runs behind them? Will Shishkin want to take part? Bravemansgame does love it at Kempton and could well win again.

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