CLAN DES OBEAUX 2/1 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
SAINT CALVADOS 18/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W
We have two selections in this race.
The King George Chase, a race which CLAN DES OBEAUX has made his own, winning it for the last two years. The market can’t split Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname who are both 2/1 and 9/4 but given they are around the same price, I am happy to side with Clan who is going for the treble. He just seems to come alive at Kempton and this is the race he is trained to the minute for each season. He was so impressive when winning the race last season by 21 lengths, with Cyrname back in 2nd. I expect a better Cyrname to turn up this year than last year as he has had better preparation this time around, but is he a 21 length better horse this season? It is a big gap to close in my opinion, especially if you are getting around the same price.
CLAN DES OBEAUX had his first start of this season at Haydock in the Betfair Chase, back in November. He was 2nd to Bristol De Mai but travelled very well throughout, just getting tired late on. Paul Nicholls clearly left a bit in the horse but even so, it was his best run on his first start of the season in 3 seasons. Given two years previously when winning this race, he didn’t run great races the first time up, yet still went on to win this race, could it be he is a better horse this time around? He is only an 8 year old who went for a wind operation over the summer, it could certainly bring out further improvement and this year could be his prime year.
At the end of the day I am a firm believer in horses for courses, whether it be, Hexham, Cheltenham or Kempton. When a horse falls in love with a track they just keep coming back and winning. For that reason I am firmly in the CLAN DES OBEAUX camp. WIN.
A horse who is a huge price, especially with the rain that has fallen is SAINT CALVADOS. I think he is massive value now stepping up to 3 miles and his form when fresh is top class. This is a horse who came 2nd to Min in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and if he didn’t make a mistake at the last fence, he would have won the race. He stayed on all the way to the line as if 3 mile around an easier course like Kempton would be within his grasp. The way you have to look at it is, if Min was running in this race, I am sure he would be single figures.
SAINT CALVADOS is only a 7 year old who has improved each season and this could be the season where we see the very best of him. His form on his first start of season reads 1111. He is unbeaten on his first start so the time to catch him is when he is really fresh, first time up.
He has clearly been aimed at the race by Harry Whittington and clearly been kept fresh so they can get the very best out of him.
He is also a horse who absolutely loves cut in the soft ground so the more rain the better. On the other hand this is his first time over 3 miles and although I think he will stay the trip, given how he stayed out the Ryanair at Cheltenham, as Kempton is an easier course, it is not given he will. At the price it is a chance worth taking and I think he may well surprise a few here. E/W.