February 3, 2023

Steve Davies

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Bravemansgame: a strong favourite for the King George VI Chase at Kempton next month

Steve Davies

Willie Mullins looks set to be without a contender in this year’s Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on December 26 after Galopin Des Champs and last year’s winner Tornado Flyer were scratched from the race on Tuesday.

Bravemansgame and Hitman could represent multiple King George winner Paul Nicholls, while Gold Cup hopeful L’Homme Presse and Irish challenger Envoi Allen also feature in the acceptors.

Nicholls has landed the King George on 12 occasions, and five times with Kempton legend Kauto Star, and the trainer’s Charlie Hall winner Bravemansgame has assumed control of the market.

He is followed by stablemate Hitman, who is yet to win at the top level but was impressive when scoring at Haydock this month.

The Irish will hold a strong hand despite the absence of Mullins, with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Envoi Allen, who bounced back to his best in the Champion Chase at Down Royal, the leading challenger.

Grand National winner Noble Yeats also features among the entries while 2020 winner Frodon, another trained by Nicholls, could bid to regain his title.

The Dan Skelton-trained Betfair Chase hero Protektorat and Mildmay winner Ahoy Senor, who disappointed on his return at Wetherby, also remain in contention.

Ladbrokes King George VI Chase acceptors

Ahoy Senor Lucinda Russell
Bravemansgame Paul Nicholls
Eldorado Allen Joe Tizzard
Envoi Allen Henry de Bromhead
Frodon Paul Nicholls
Hitman Paul Nicholls
L’Homme Presse Venetia Williams
Millers Bank Alex Hales
Noble Yeats Emmet Mullins
Pic D’Orhy Paul Nicholls
Protektorat Dan Skelton
Red Happy David Pipe
Royale Pagaille Venetia Williams

Ladbrokes King George VI Chase (December 26, Kempton)

Coral: 5-4 Bravemansgame, 7-2 Hitman, 4 L’Homme Presse, 5 Envoi Allen, 12 Protektorat, 20 Eldorado Allen, Frodon, 25 Ahoy Senor, Noble Yeats, Royale Pagaille, 33 bar

Iwilldoit back for more at Chepstow

Last year’s runaway winner Iwilldoit features among 51 acceptors for the Coral Welsh Grand National.

The Sam Thomas-trained Iwilldoit has been absent since winning a pair of races at Chepstow last December by a combined 33 lengths.

Thomas’ hand is strengthened by Our Power, who was a tough winner at Ascot in October and could go beyond three miles for the first time.

Ante-post favourite Ask Me Early, who was a promising third on his return behind subsequent Coral Gold Cup winner Le Milos at Bangor in November, also features among the entries.

The Galloping Bear recently lost his Grand National Trial win at Haydock due to disqualification and Ben Clarke’s nine-year-old will bid for redemption should he take his chance.

Threeunderthrufive, who unseated early in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury, also features alongside Secret Reprieve, who has failed to fire since winning the race in 2020.

Read this next:

‘They have to come and beat us’ – Paul Nicholls on Tingle Creek chances

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