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10 Dec 2018

Who will win the 2018 King George VI Chase?

First run in 1937, the King George VI Chase, which is named in honour of the former British monarch King George VI, is one of the highlights of the racing season. Taking place on Boxing Day every year, the Grade 1 National Hunt race is run over a distance of 3 miles at Kempton Park Racecourse and is designed for horses aged four years old and above. This race challenges the very best horses around, and is arguably the second most prestigious chase in England, just behind the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

According to the King George race betting odds, last year’s winner ‘Might Bite’ is the favourite to win the race for the second year running. At 2/1, it seems like everyone is expecting the Irish trained horse to dominate the race and secure an easy victory. The thoroughbred is used to racing on tracks which are just as long as the one at Kempton, and should adapt to it fairly easily. If it does, it’s hard seeing past anything other than a Might Bite win.

Might Bite might be the overwhelming favourite to secure victory, but there are plenty of other horses which have a good chance of snatching victory. As things stand, ‘Waiting Patiently’ has odds of around 6/1. The seven-year-old won all but two of his races since he started racing in 2015, finishing second in the races that he failed to win. With a 100% win ratio in chases, backing the thoroughbred seems like a fairly good bet. However, there are a couple of things that could give Waiting Patiently a slight disadvantage.

The main thing that you need to take into consideration is that this will be the longest race which he has raced in. If the trainer doesn’t take care of the horse’s stamina, it is likely that he’ll struggle towards the end of the race. It’s also worth mentioning that this race will be his first in over 300 days. There is a chance that this long rest might give him a slight advantage over this competitor who has recently raced, but it is more likely that his lack of competitive racing will put him at a disadvantage.

‘Native River’ rounds out the top three when it comes to the favourites on the odds market. With odds of around 8/1, it is only the second race in the past few years where the thoroughbred isn’t the favourite. Despite this, Native River proved earlier this year that he is able to compete with the best horses on the racecourse. In the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he managed to beat Might Bite by 4 ½ lengths. Could he do it again at Kempton?

Although these three might be the bookmakers favourite, there are plenty of horses racing that still have a good chance of securing a victory. ‘Altior’, who currently has odds of 15/1, is on a 14 race win streak which started all the way back in 2015. There’s no doubt that he’s fast, but there are huge question marks surrounding his stamina. The Irish trained horse has run no further than around 2 miles during his career which could be his downfall in the three-mile long King George Chase.

Other horses such as ‘Footpad, ‘Politologue’ and ‘Bellshill’ are also considered outside favourites, but are unlikely to come close to winning the race outright. Their odds vary from 12/1 to 14/1 and could be worth a shot with the decent form that they’ve been in over the past year or so.

A win for Might Bite seems the most likely scenario but, as we all know, anything can happen on the day and we could see a shock winner.