The Willie Mullins-trained Galopin Des Champs, an unlucky last-fence faller at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, had been the subject of support earlier in the month, despite his trainer stating it was an unlikely option for his charge.
Galopin Des Champs, along with stablemate and defending champion Tornado Flyer, were two notable absentees on Tuesday as 13 horses were left in the race – headed by Paul Nicholls impressive Charlie Hall scorer and 5/4 favourite Bravemansgame.
“Earlier this month some punters seemed convinced that Galopin Des Champs would be heading to Kempton at Christmas, as his odds tumbled down to 3-1 second favourite, but unfortunately for those backers, connections have removed the King George as an option for their Gold Cup favourite,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
Hitman stated his case with a wide-margin win at Haydock earlier in the month and he gives part-owner Sir Alex Ferguson a second potential interest in the race as Dan Skelton’s Betfair Chase hero Protektorat is also still in the mix.
Nicholls also has 2020 winner Frodon and outsider Pic D’Orhy amongst the remaining entries.
Saturday’s Rehearsal Chase winner L’Homme Presse could yet represent Venetia Williams while Henry de Bromhead supplies the leading Irish hope in Envoi Allen, who roared back to form with Grade One success at Down Royal last month.
Grand National winner Noble Yeats, another Williams-trained runner in Royale Pagaille and Ahoy Senor, who is set to run at Aintree on Saturday also feature, along with Eldorado Allen, Millers Bank and Red Happy.