The King George Preview

This year’s renewal of the King George VI Chase has the makings of a classic. There’s a class act at the top of the market, a fan’s favourite with every chance and several quirky types who will win if they are at their very best, and it would be no surprise to see a lot of those who line up on the day get their head in front.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is bidding to land a 13th King George with his hopes Clan Des Obeaux, Frodon and Saint Calvados, but are any of the aforementioned able to see off the challenge of the very competitive field?

Win Selection – Frodon (11/2)

It was easy to underestimate Frodon in last year’s King George, but it is hard to ignore his claims this time around. The gelding landed the Ladbrokes Champions Chase at Down Royal in October and will be primed for the outing.

In true Frodon fashion, the nine-year-old should get it all his own way out in front and will be hoping to run his opposition into submission. Jockey Bryony Frost is one of the best there is on frontrunners and her connection with Frodon is exceptional. The pair will set a quick early tempo from the off before quickening on the bend towards home and praying they outstay their opposition.

Jumping is the aim of the game, and it shouldn’t be an issue for Frodon. He is always slick through the air and is just as good under pressure too, the perfect attribute for an out and out stayer.

Boxing Day could be the first time in a while that Frodon is found in the market given that he is usually popular as a horse but often goes unbacked. His enthusiastic attitude and willingness to continue to find for pressure in the closing stages.

Everything looks set for Frodon to produce a big effort and he is slightly too big in the market for me, especially considering he finished five lengths in front of 4/1 shot Minella Indo at Down Royal – who may find everything happening too quickly for him in this race.

Favourite Clan Des Obeaux (3/1) has a great chance but, personally, his record fresh is too poor to be backing him with any sort of conviction. Chantry House and Lostintranslation both have a chance of making up the placings and at the very best will have a chance jumping the last, but whether they have enough to get past Frodon coming into the last. Royal Pagaille won’t be running until next year.

The horse I think could pose the biggest problem for Frodon is Asterion Forlonge (7/1). He is a very quirky type and his jumping raises plenty of questions, hence why he isn’t the main win selection, especially after his fall in the John Durkan when he looked the likeliest winner before unseating jockey Brian Cooper.

The omitted fences may have helped Asterion Forlonge’s cause coming into the closing stages but the way he travelled into contention was very likeable, but it is hard to be overly confident about Willie Mullins’ gelding given how clumsy he can be through the air, especially compared to Frodon.