Ruth Jefferson has reported her stable star Waiting Patiently to be in fine form as he prepares for his seasonal reappearance in the 32Red King George VI steeple chase at Kempton Park on Wednesday 26th December.
In this video Ruth Jefferson shares Waiting Patiently’s progress ahead of the Winter Festival:
On the day Jefferson said:
“I am really pleased with him. He’s looked great since he has come in. He’d had a lovely summer on the grass and he looked fab when he came back. Since then he has never really given us a moment’s worry.
“We obviously had a touch of an injury that we needed to monitor, but he has done everything that we wanted him to do and he has just come along the way we wanted him to come along, so I am really happy with him.”
Waiting Patiently is currently the 11/2 second favourite for the 32Red King George and is defending an unbeaten six-race record over fences but was last seen when beating Cue Card in the Ascot Chase back in February.
“He came back from Ascot and - whether it was because he had a hard race I don’t know - he just didn’t look how I wanted him to look, so I backed off him and said we would probably end up giving Cheltenham a miss and head to Aintree.
“We gave him a little bit of time off and then got him going again and I just wasn’t happy with one of his legs one day - there was a little injury there so we had to stop. He came back in at the end of July and it has never given us a moment’s worry. He hasn’t been off quite as long as people have anticipated, he just hasn’t run since February.
“With the ground this year, with it being a long hard summer, there wasn’t really anywhere to run him bar the Betfair Chase and it was just going to come a week too soon and then there wasn’t a prep race for him, so he went and popped round some fences at Hexham.”
In preparation for the Boxing Day race, Jefferson took Waiting Patiently for an away day to Hexham racecourse, partnered by race day jockey Brian Hughes, where he jumped four fences. Jefferson was very pleased with what she saw:
“It was just to get him away from home, if he wanted to be keen or do anything daft - he never has - but it just gave him that day.
“He did just short of a mile. He went down a bit buzzy and gave the first a little bit of air, but then just popped the next three and settled in behind his lead horse.
“He did everything right. It was tacky old ground so they didn’t need to go mad fast but it gave him a nice stretch of his legs and everything has been fine since.”
This will be the first time that Waiting Patiently will run over three miles but Jefferson is confident he will handle the step up in trip.
“It’s not a worry to me because I think he will stay, but until he does I suppose you don’t know do you. A lot of good horses will be effective over every trip won’t they. He has got speed, he has got stamina, probably his biggest asset is his ability to switch off in a race and not do too much too early which will help him see out the trip.
“What impressed us at Ascot wasn’t just that he switched off, they went a hell of a gallop round Ascot with Cue Card, but when Brian said will you go… off he went. He has got to do that over three miles but he has obviously got a nice cruising speed, a nice turn of foot and if he stays as well he has got all the attributes of a very good horse.”
Notes to Editors
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).
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.
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