Paul Nicholls with Nigel Twiston-Davies and Nicky Henderson at the 32Red Winter Festival Launch.
Paul Nicholls is confident that his recent Grade 2 winner Politologue, will handle the extra distance in the 32Red King George VI Steeple Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day. Politologue will spearhead the Paul Nicholls’ team, with the race’s most successful trainer also running Clan Des Obeaux in the race.
Speaking at the launch of the 32Red Winter Festival at The Pheasant Inn in Lambourn, Nicholls commented following Politologue’s Ascot run:
“Very pleased with him, straight back cantering. It didn’t take too much out of him at all and he is back in full work.
“He stayed on really strongly that day, obviously the form is good, he gave 6lbs when beating Charbel. That form is rock solid the way that Charbel won at Huntingdon.
“He stayed on strongly, travelled well into the race, idled a bit in front and galloped all the way from the back of the last to the line. If he didn’t stay he wouldn’t have won the race.
“He has just never been over 3 miles that’s just the way it has worked out, but he has won over two miles five furlongs and two miles three furlongs, he will be fine I am sure he will.”
“Though he won the Tingle Creek last year, Altior wasn’t there and one or two others so it probably wasn’t quite as hot as it might have been and then we stepped up in trip at Aintree. Obviously two miles was too sharp for him at Cheltenham, he was much more impressive over two and half miles and he is bred to stay. We always thought he was going to be a stayer, it’s just he is not short of pace and he has done well up to now.
“Kauto Star - who won 5 King Georges - had the same sort of profile to run in Haldon Gold Cups and over two and half at Ascot and things like that and ended up getting three, so I am hoping he will.
“There are a lot of things in his favour really. The flat track suits him, right handed suits him and I am really sure the race will suit him. He is high class. None of us know if he will quite get the last bit of the trip but I don’t think it is an issue really.”
Nicholls also commented on other contenders in the race and ground conditions:
“That was very good race (Betfair chase), obviously Might Bite has got to improve but I think he just got a little bit tired. I think he will improve. Those were the best horses - you have got the Gold Cup winner, the King George winner and Bristol De Mai is very, very smart on his day. That form probably stands out, but I have always said different track, different day, you often get a different result. They are all smart horses that will all be in the mix.
“Good to soft would be perfect at Kempton, but unless it is an absolute bog I wouldn’t be too worried about it really.”
Regarding jockeys for his runners, Nicholls said:
“I suspect Sam Twiston-Davies will ride him (Politologue) and Harry Cobden will ride Clan Des Obeaux. That would be the obvious thing to do. I know Harry is very sweet on Clan, Sam is obviously sweet on Politologue, both of them have won on both horses but I suspect we will leave it at that.”
On his other 32Red King George VI Challenger, Clan Des Obeaux, he said:
“He ran well, he is a very inexperienced horse, progressing. If it had been a handicap he would have got an awful lot of weight off the others, which probably begs the issue that I should have run him in the Ladbrokes Trophy as it turns out!
“He ran very, very well - he would have learnt a lot. He jumps slightly right handed, so Kempton will probably suit him better than Haydock. That puts him right in the mix. He wasn’t beaten far by Thistlecrack or Native River, so the form is good. If he can just improve, we will be in with a shout.
“He is only six years old and they can just keep on improving. We have had to mind him and I am really looking forward to letting him go.”
Notes to Editors
Video available to embed: https://youtu.be/PlDzm6A_6CM
Downloadable link: https://bit.ly/2EqWF8U
To win the 32Red King George VI - the sponsor’s bet:
- 10/3 Might Bite
- 11/2 Waiting Patiently
- 6/1 Politologue
- 7/1 Native River
- 7/1 Thistlecrack
- 8/1 Bristol De Mai
- 8/1 Presenting Percy
- 16/1 Altior
- 16/1 Shattered Love
- 20/1 Top Notch
This year’s 32 Red King George VI Steeple Chase contest will again be the second leg of the eagerly anticipated The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. Jockey Club Racecourses are offering a £1million bonus if any horse wins the Betfair Chase (Haydock Park, 24th November), the 32Red King George VI Steeple Chase (Kempton Park, 26th December) and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup (Cheltenham, 15th March 2018).
Altior (IRE), Black Corton (FR), Bristol De Mai (FR), Clan des Obeaux (FR), Coneygree (GB), Disko (FR), Don Poli (IRE), Double Shuffle (IRE), Might Bite (IRE), Native River (IRE), Outlander (IRE), Politologue (FR), Saint Calvados (FR), Shattered Love (IRE), Sizing Tennessee (IRE), Tea For Two (GB),Thistlecrack (GB), Top Notch (FR), Waiting Patiently (IRE)
About Kempton Park:
Kempton Park Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which stages thrilling sporting occasions including the Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy special experiences through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. Founded in 1750, The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group in Britain’s second biggest spectator sport operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.
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