Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

International Contenders To Challenge King Conti

There are now 32 horses being aimed at the 2015 William Hill King George VI Chase as the clock ticks down to Kempton's highlight after the latest entry stage.

Nine horses from Ireland and three from France are among the potential contenders to take on reigning champion Silviniaco Conti, who is 6-1 to defend his title.

"There is an international feel about this year's entries and tremendous strength in depth. The blue touch-paper has been lit and there should be festive fireworks in this year's King George," said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

At this stage, the 2013 and 2014 winner Silviniaco Conti has attracted the most bets at William Hill, although 11-4 favourite Vautour has attracted some of the bigger punters and is currently the worst result.

Don Cossack has been trimmed from 5-1 to 4-1 at the entry stage.

Willie Mullins has the most entries with five horses in the list: Djakadam, Don Poli, Sir Des Champs, Valseur Lido and Vautour.

While the most successful trainer in the history of the William Hill King George VI Chase, Paul Nicholls, has four ticks in the Boxing Day race at this stage: Ptit Zig, Saphir Du Rheu, Southfield Theatre and last year's winner Silviniaco Conti.

Of the three French horses, Shannon Rock is a Grade 1 winner and races for J.P. Gallorini. He beat fellow entrant Saint Palois (trained by Emmanuel Clayeux) by 3/4 length to win the Prix La Haye Jousselin at Auteuil in 2013. The other French entry is J.P. Gallorini's Pindare.

Nicky Henderson has two options for the race, with Ma Filleule and the long absent Simonsig entered; David Pipe pitches three in the entries, with King’s Palace, Ballynagour and Dynaste; while Philip Hobbs enters old battling veterans Captain Chris and Menorah.

William Hill King George VI Chase: 11-4 Vautour, 4-1 Don Cossack, 6-1 Silviniaco Conti, 12-1 Saphir Du Rheu, 14-1 Djakadam, Road To Riches, 16-1 Cue Card, 20-1 Don Poli, Dynaste, Sir Des Champs, 25-1 Ballynagour, Menorah, Ptit Zig, 33-1 Al Ferof, Apache Stronghold, Captain Chris, Double Ross, Irish Cavalier, King’s Palace, Ma Filleule, Shannon Rock, Simonsig, Smad Place, Southfield Theatre, Valseur Lido, 40-1 Clarcam, O’Faolains Boy, 50-1 Camping Ground, God’s Own, 66-1 Saint Palois, 150-1 Annacotty, 200-1 Pindare, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3)