Boxing Day Delight: The King George VI Chase

There are not many races in the calendar that many look forward to other than The King George VI Chase. In fact, it is arguably one of the biggest highlights of the calendar, especially as part of the national hunt season.

It is held in high regard, with most racing enthusiasts of the belief that only the Cheltenham Gold Cup race surpasses this race in terms of its importance and appeal.

Held traditionally on Boxing Day each year, the race is held at Kempton Park, in Surrey and is run over a distance that consists of approximately 3 miles (4,828 metres), featuring a total of 18 fences that are required to be jumped.

There have been numerous horses that have been crowned multiple-time winners of this race, although there are some that have created a legendary status among the horse racing community because of what they have managed to achieve. Kauto Star holds the all-time record for the most wins of this race, having won it on five occasions, while Desert Orchid managed to win it four times.

Kauto Star’s five wins were extremely impressive, as the horse dominated the race for four years straight. He won the race in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, before winning it again in 2011 with legendary jockey Ruby Walsh on board.

Who are the favorites for the 2023 King George VI Chase?

Although there is still a lot of time before the big race, fans have already started to look at the options they have in regard to those who are competing. Bookmakers have already started to help punters out, with some having already released odds for The King George VI Chase.

Among those to have already done so, the 32redsport betting platform has already provided its members and potential new bettors the opportunity to take advantage of odds that may offer plenty of value, especially with Boxing Day still a distance away.

As of October 2023, the current market prices are as follows:

– Bravemansgame @ 1.75/1

– Shishkin @ 5/1

– Galopin Des Champs @ 8/1

– Allaho @ 10/1

– Gerri Colombe @ 10/1

– L’Homme Presse @ 10/1

Bravemansgame the favorite

Having won the race in 2022, Bravemansgame has been made the outright favorite already, and it isn’t a real shock that he is.

At seven years old during the last race, jockey Harry Cobden managed to keep him wide throughout the first part of the meet. He stayed within the pack for the majority of it as he was ninth before moving up the field as they got closer to the line. Trained by Paul Nicholl’s and his stable, Bravemansgame showed how brave he could be as he would take the lead with one fence left before going on to record a 14-length victory over Royale Pagaille and a winning time of 5m 58.35s.

Now an eight-year-old, he has only had two meets since that victory, including the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup in which he finished second. He was beaten by Galopin Des Champs in that race by seven lengths on soft ground, which is something that bettors may want to consider with this upcoming meet, too.

Could Shishkin win?

Shishkin is arguably one of the most exciting national hunt horses in the sport at the minute, with the Irish horse dominating in almost every race that he takes part in. In his short career, the Nicky Henderson-trained horse has managed to win nine of his 12 chase races, and three of his four hurdle races among others.

The nine-year-old is yet to have competed in The King George VI Chase, but there is every chance that his first outing in this race could end up with a familiar story when he competes. The odds that are already available suggest he is one to watch, although not many are going against last year’s winner.

Entertaining race expected

Regardless of the horse that is eventually crowned the winner, horse racing enthusiasts know that they will be able to witness an incredible race on Boxing Day and one that can elevate their festivities for the holiday season.

Kempton Park comes alive with this race and the other meets that take place over the festival, but there is no denying that so many will be tuning in to the King George VI Chase and backing a horse that they believe can make their Christmas so much better!