With the flat renewal taking place at Ascot on Saturday, what better excuse for National Hunt fans to take an early look ahead to this season’s King George VI Chase at Kempton Park this December?
Names such as Love, Adayar and Lone Eagle will take precedent for the racing public this Saturday but jumps followers would rather refer back to Frodon‘s remarkable Boxing Day victory eight months ago under Bryony Frost.
Paul Nicholls, though, who had the former Ryanair winner to thank for a 12th win in the contest, is represented by another Ditcheat contender at the top of the market in the form of two-time winner, Clan Des Obeaux.
The duel successor finished third in his bid for a hat-trick last campaign but went onto record Grade 1 wins at Aintree and Punchestown to cap off a superb spring.
He is followed in the market by potential Irish raider Allaho, who stole Cheltenham Festival credentials in March before a tilt at two miles on his next appearance.
Willie Mullins has not won the race since 2001, but bookmakers are erring on the side of the caution with his charge who battered the field at Prestbury Park four months ago and is likely to stay the trip at this track.
Gold Cup hero Minella Indo shares a general 10-1 price with Nicky Henderson’s Chantry House, despite that one only just about to enter open company when he next reappears.
Seven Barrows took this event three times last decade and their JP McManus hopeful could have a live chance on the basis of his novice form, winning the Marsh before easily winning the Mildmay on Merseyside when upped to three-miles for the first time.
The aforementioned’s stable-mate A Plus Tard, who confirmed trainer Henry de Bromhead would secure a 1-2 in National Hunt’s blue-ribbon event, is as big as 16-1 to show up at Sunbury-on-Thames after Christmas.
He sits just ahead of the reigning champion, who is respected on a potential reappearance in the race and holds a solid Kempton Park record, last seen winning across the county of Surrey at Sandown to award connections a 17th career victory.