King George VI Chase Kempton 2007

There is a feast of racing coming up this holiday time starting at Ascot on Saturday 22nd, then Kempton on the 26th, Chepstow on the 27th and Leopardstown on the 28th December. The centre piece will of course be the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
I am sure the results will go more to form than they did at Cheltenham last Saturday. The starting prices of the first four home in the Boylesports Gold Cup in which Tamarinbleu made all the running to win were 22/1, 25/1, 20/1 and 11/1. The well backed favourite New Little Bric along with Abragante and New Alco never got into the race. In the International Hurdle Sublimity looked as though he had come over from Ireland for the fresh air! He folded quickly after appearing to be going well. Perhaps the fast pace sapped his stamina. It will be no different come next March with Osana, the winner of this race, in the field. The race was marred by the terrible injury to my old favourite Macs Joy. Franchoek was an expensive failure in the Juvenile Novices Hurdle.
The Long Walk Hurdle over 3 miles 1 furlong at Ascot this Saturday looks an interesting contest with Hardy Eustace, Black Jack Ketchum and Special Envoy all declared to run. Perhaps Black Jack Ketcham will at last fulfill all the high expectations his trainer has of him.
The King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day looks as though it will be a re-run of last years race where Kauto Star beat Exotic Dancer and Racing Demon. I expect Kauto Star to join that band of Chasers who have won the the race twice or more. The record books tell me that Halloween was the first Chaser to win it twice. The others I do remember. They are Mandarin, Pendil, Captain Christy, Silver Buck, Wayward Lad (3 wins), Desert Orchid (4 wins), The Fellow, One Man, See More Businesss and Kicking King.
Desert Orchid’s first win in 1986 brings back happy memories for me. My late sister and her family were with us for Boxing Day and I wanted to watch the race as I had backed Wayward Lad who was seeking his 4th win in the race. As there were only nine runners the family decided we should have a sweepstake so we could have a horse each and then everybody could have a bit of fun. I drew Desert Orchid and like many people outside his stable did not think he would stay 3 miles. How wrong we all were. Dessie made all the running and won the race by 15 lengths. His starting price was 16/1. I collected the sweepstake money to noises of you “lucky so and so”. Pure luck but it made up for my loss on Wayward Lad. After that race Desert Orchid never looked back. He won the King George VI Chase again in 1988, 1989 and 1990 besides his many other wins.
Denman and The Listener are being sent over to race in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in Ireland on Friday 28th December thereby missing a clash with Kauto Star and also looking for softer ground which they both need. This should be a cracking race as both horses like to bowl along in front. Denman should keep his unbeaten run going.
For the racecards with the runners and riders and the jockeys colours click on the links in the left hand column to either attheraces or the sporting life.

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