19 entries remain at the acceptance stage for the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Wednesday 26th December. Following Bristol De Mai’s brilliant four-length victory in the Betfair Chase, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies will attempt to win the £250,000 Grade 1 contest as connections set their sights on the £1 million Jockey Club Triple Crown bonus (see editor’s notes).
Standing in Bristol De Mai’s way at Kempton will be last year’s winner and current 4/1 favourite Might Bite.
The Nicky Henderson trained nine-year-old, followed up his success in last year’s race with a close second in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup before a brilliant seven-length victory in the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree. However, Might Bite will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing seasonal re-appearance at Haydock where he finished at the back of the field almost 30 lengths behind Bristol De Mai. Might Bite is one of three for Champion trainer, Nicky Henderson, who also has Champion Chase winner, Altior and Top Notch in the race. Altior is set to make his first appearance of the season in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park this weekend.
Waiting Patiently retains his place and could provide a fairy-tale story for trainer Ruth Jefferson. Ruth took up her training licence after her father sadly passed away at the beginning of this year. Waiting Patiently, currently the 7-1 second favourite, is unbeaten over fences and was last seen in February beating Cue Card in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase.
Gold Cup hero Native River and 2016 King George winner Thistlecrack are both set to line-up for Dorset based trainer Colin Tizzard. The pair finished second and third respectively behind Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase. Fresh from his incredible 25-length victory in the Ladbroke Trophy, Sizing Tennessee is the third and final entry for Tizzard.
Recent Christy 1965 Chase (Grade 2) winner, Politologue, will spearhead the Paul Nicholls team. Nicholls holds the leading trainer record for the 32Red King George VI Chase since its inception in 1937, boasting nine wins. Black Corton, who won the 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase (Grade 1) on the same card last year and Clan des Obeaux make up the Nicholls’ team.
Last year’s third, Tea for Two, could once again line up for trainer Jane Williams and jockey Lizzie Kelly, whilst 2017 runner-up Double Shuffle also remains among the contenders for trainer, Tom George. There could also be a place in the line-up for 2015 Gold Cup winner Coneygree following an encouraging re-appearance in the BetVictor.com Handicap Chase (Grade 3) where he finished third.