The 2023 King George VI Chase is the feature race on an excellent six-race card from Kempton on Boxing Day that includes the Christmas Hurdle and Kauto Star Novices' Chase. Racing Post tipster Dave Randall outlines his best bets on the card.
Gary Moore is a healthy 7-42 (17%) with all of his runners in the last 14 days and 17-177 (10%) with his runners over fences at Kempton. Moore's representative Kotmask makes plenty of each-way appeal in the opening eight-runner extended 2m4f Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.
Kotmask first caught the eye ahead of his chasing debut on this course in October and there are strong chasing influences in his pedigree.
He reached an encouraging third behind Arclight on good ground. Arclight is now rated 17lb higher, having won well at Exeter and Wincanton in two subsequent Listed Mares' Chases.
Kotmask is now rated 7lb higher than at Kempton, having won comfortably at Plumpton on good to soft ground in November. He was sent off favourite to follow up at Sandown earlier this month but took a soft fall on the particularly testing ground at the eighth fence.
The ground is likely to be a mixture of good and good to soft on Tuesday and the selection is fancied to bounce right back on this step up to an intermediate trip.
He has a handy racing weight and his dam is a half-sister to two very useful hurdle/chase winners from 2m1f-3m.
Niall Houlihan, who claims 3lb, is an encouraging jockey booking. He is 12-79 (15% +£6.04) when riding for Moore over fences.
Paul Nicholls is 2-14 in the Grade 1 3m Kauto Star Novices' Chase since 2013, including through Bravemansgame in 2021, and he has a fine chance of adding to that relatively recent tally through Hermes Allen.
The selection is upwards of 4lb clear of the British-trained runners on the book and that British form discrepancy widens to upwards of 8lb from the Lucinda Russell-representative Giovinco, based on the 155 Racing Post Rating Hermes Allen achieved when winning a Newbury Grade 2 Novices' Chase earlier this month.
Hermes Allen won an Irish point over this longer trip and everything looks in place for a big run, tackling 3m over fences under Rules for the first time.
The French-trained Il Est Francais, representing Noel George and Amanda Zetterholm, has the same official rating as the selection (151), and is the current favourite. He is however yet to match his Grade 1 winning hurdles form in his two wins over fences, and he looks opposable given that 3m on goodish ground around Kempton may represent something of a culture shock.
Six runners are due to line up in the feature Grade 1 3m King George VI Chase and the likes of Hewick (166), The Real Whacker (162) and Frodon (156) have plenty to find on the book to defeat the three market principals.
From those three, Shishkin (173) is hard to trust after refusing to race on his intended prep-run at Ascot in November and Allaho (177) has yet to race on this course, and needs to prove he is still capable of registering the sort of form that won him the Punchestown Gold Cup in April 2022.
Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the race with 13 victories stretching back to See More Business in 1997 and the Ditcheat handler is 6-21 in the race since 2013.
Bravemansgame (171) has finished second on his two starts this season in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock, but he should now have had the perfect amount of conditioning ahead of his main target for the season.
He will prove hard to beat if he reproduces the 177 Racing Post Rating performance he achieved when winning by 14 lengths in this race last year.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.