Racing: Teeton on brink of leap to the top
The former top jump jockey Steve Smith Eccles analyses today's King George VI Chase
Saturday 26 December 1998
Coome Hill: Gave his jockey, Jamie Osborne, a fairytale comeback win at Ascot - but I cannot see this sure-footed jumper matching strides with the market leaders when the race gets serious.
Escartefigue: Hard to fancy now that Adrian Maguire has abandoned him in favour of his stable companion Mulligan.
Imperial Call: The 1996 Gold Cup winner has been plagued with problems but has been rejuvenated by his new trainer, Raymond Hurley. Mick Fitzgerald has landed a plum ride and should be in the first three.
Mulligan: Formerly a high-class two-miler, Mulligan lost his way last term but ran a cracker in the Tripleprint Gold Cup last time. That form could be better than many give it credit for and he could run the race of his life.
See More Business: His connections have been praying for rain and it could be a case of divine intervention. However, last year's winner may need more than the ground in his favour as he attempts to emulate former back-to-back King George winners Desert Orchid, The Fellow and One Man.
Simply Dashing: Ran another cracker when the headgear was fitted for the Tripleprint Gold Cup. The bridesmaid in two big chases this season but will be well suited by this longer trip and has to be respected.
Super Tactics: His jockey, Andrew Thornton, who won this race on See More Business last year, thinks the world of this fellow, who is a sure- footed jumper. However, age is not on his side and younger rivals will leave him tapped for toe.
Teeton Mill: Greys have a fine record in this race and this progressive nine-year-old should take the step up from handicap company in his huge stride. Venetia Williams will be responsible for the training performance of the year if the former point-to-pointer succeeds.
Conclusion: The favourite, See More Business, has disappointed me and does not look up to the task, even if the ground comes up soft. TEETON MILL pulverised the opposition in the Hennessy Gold Cup to win by 15 lengths and looks a much safer proposition. I expect Simply Dashing and the Irish challenger, Imperial Call, to be snapping at his heels all the way to the line.
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