Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Ten Set for Quality King George

Following the final declarations for the William Hill King George VI Chase, a field of 10 look ready to race in the prestigious three mile contest at Kempton Park.

Silviniaco Conti is the best-backed horse with the sponsors and is the 5-2 favourite to retain the title that he won a year ago. Silviniaco Conti established himself at the head of the market following a super victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. Paul Nicholls has the greatest record of any trainer in the William Hill King George with eight wins and this year he is also represented by Al Ferof, a lively contender at odds of 6-1.

“It often pays to back the favourite in the King George and unless there is a mammoth gamble, it looks like Silviniaco Conti will head the market on Boxing Day,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Over the past 20 years, 55% of favourites have won and backing the un-named favourite would have returned £18.30 to a level pound stake.

Cue Card is very much the horse with momentum in the betting market. Colin Tizzard hasn't held back on his confidence in the horse and after two below-par runs from the Jean Bishop-owned gelding, punters feel there is value in backing last year's runner-up. Cue Card is priced at 7-1 after the final declarations.

Champagne Fever is a welcome addition to the line-up, travelling over from Ireland for master handler Willie Mullins – he’s the 4-1 second-favourite in the market.

"It's exciting to see such a promising Irish chaser coming over to Kempton and all credit to his trainer and owner for having the ambition to take-on quality, more-experienced rivals," said sponsor's spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Elsewhere, Dynaste has shortened over the past fortnight from 11-1 to 8-1, while Charlie Hall winner Menorah is at the same odds. Philip Hobbs also trains Wishfull Thinking at odds of 25-1.

Johns Spirit represents Jonjo O’Neill at 25-1, while the line-up is completed by 50-1 outsiders Double Ross for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Wonderful Charm, the third option for Paul Nicholls.

Earlier on the card at Kempton, the Christmas Hurdle is headed by odds-on favourite Faugheen, who is 4-9 to win.

“Faugheen will be incredibly tough to beat and he could be the banker for Boxing Day punters,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.


William Hill King George VI Chase: 5-2 Silviniaco Conti, 4-1 Champagne Fever, 6-1 Al Ferof, 7-1 Cue Card, 8-1 Dynaste, Menorah, 25-1 Johns Spirit, Wishfull Thinking, 50-1 Double Ross, Wonderful Charm, (Each Way ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3 – Non-Runner, Money-Back + Best Odds Guaranteed. Rule 4 May Apply) Christmas Hurdle: 4-9 Faugheen, 4-1 Irving, 7-1 Sign Of A Victory, 14-1 Purple Bay, 33-1 Blue Heron, Sgt Reckless, (Each Way ¼ Odds Places 1,2 - Non-Runner, Money-Back + Best Odds Guaranteed. Rule 4 May Apply)