The King George VI Chase at Kempton is the highlight of the festive period in horse racing. The 3m chase on Boxing Day tends to attract the best chasers from the UK and Ireland in the division, and this year that should be the case again.
Here is a look at the best bets for the second biggest race of the season in the 3m chase division.
Bravemansgame – Win (13/8)
When he lines up at Kempton this year, defending champion Bravesmansgame will be bidding to become the latest horse to win the race in back-to-back years. His trainer knows all about that feat as he managed it with Kauto Star, Silviniaco Conti, and Clan Des Obeaux.
Bravemansgame wins the King George VI Chase! pic.twitter.com/7pfrJlwXpx— Sky Sports Racing (@SkySportsRacing) December 26, 2022
The eight-year-old was so impressive in 2022, scoring by 14 lengths after stretching away from his rivals in the closing stages of the race. He is 13/8 in the Paddy Power racing odds for the latest renewal, and it is hard to look past him.
As you can see from the racing results, after winning the King George in 2022, Bravemansgame then finished a respectable second place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. He pushed Galopin Des Champs hard in that race, despite the course favouring the Irish horse.
Nicholls’ latest star is better suited to Kempton, as it is a flatter 3m course that favours horses with speed, unlike Cheltenham where stamina is the main attribute needed. He has already had a run this season as he finished second in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, as reported by the BBC. That outing should have sharpened him up for the King George where he can give his trainer a record-extending 14th success.
L’Homme Presse – Each-Way (8/1)
It was just two seasons ago that L’Homme Presse was one of the most dominant novice chasers in the UK and Ireland. His victory at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase was one of the performances of the meeting that year.
Venetia Williams’ runner is now on the comeback trail as he has not featured since running in the 2022 King George VI Chase. He was faring well in that race and was on course to finish in the placings before coming down at the final fence.
At the age of just eight, L’Homme Presse’s best days in the sport look to be ahead of him. His trainer knows all about major success, as she has trained the winner of the Grand National and the Hennessy Gold Cup, so there is a good chance he will bounce back to his best.
The former Cheltenham Festival winner has shown that he runs well when fresh, so his absence from the track is unlikely to concern his connections. He has been victorious on his opening start of the season in each of his three campaigns since arriving in the UK. Expect to see him produce a big performance and put himself back in the reckoning for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
This year’s King George VI Chase will be the 70th renewal in history and a sell-out crowd is expected once again at Kempton.
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