King George VI Chase: Long Run has the stamina to trump Cue Card

 

Conventional racing wisdom has it that speed, rather than an abundance of stamina, is the most important attribute in a potential King George VI Chase winner, hence the proliferation of specialists over shorter distances than three miles lining up at Kempton on Boxing Day.

This is not a theory backed up by fact. You have to go back 10 years to find a winner who did not go on to prove himself a stayer, Edredon Bleu – and that was a distinctly non-vintage renewal, run on good ground.

Since then this Boxing Day bird has been carved up between Kicking King, Long Run (twice each) and the remarkable Kauto Star (a record five victories), who all possessed the stamina to win Cheltenham Gold Cups.

Kempton is, to be sure, a less demanding circuit than Cheltenham, but can still provide a war of attrition, especially when saturated by rain, as it was last year and will be again today if the weather forecasters have it right.

On the face of it, Cue Card, who beat Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, ran the perfect trial, but more still will be demanded of his stamina if the rain really sets in. Times are less relevant in a chase than they are on the Flat, but it is still worth noting that last year’s King George was run in about a second and a half slower per furlong than was the Betfair Chase.

Cue Card had an edge in match fitness at Haydock and his stable is not in the same red-hot form now, two more reasons for connections of both Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti to fancy their chances of turning the tables.

Al Ferof, top-class over shorter distances, but never tried over three miles under Rules, has the biggest question mark over his stamina among the leading contenders, but the Irish raider Mount Benbulben should not be dismissed lightly. His jumping can be hit and miss, but he has the potential to win at this level when everything clicks.

A rethink will be required if the rain miraculously misses Sunbury-on-Thames, but, anticipating a drenching, I would suggest sticking with Long Run (3.10 Kempton), the winner in 2010 and last year, and generally available at 10-1.

Many feel Long Run’s very best days are behind him and they may be right; certainly, he has been devoid of his old sparkle so far this season. One would hope that Nicky Henderson’s upbeat bulletin this week was more than just wishful thinking and also that a visor applied for the first time has a positive effect. But this race clearly brings out the best in him and I would not want to be on anything else if it comes down to a slog.

The Feltham Novices’ Chase (now renamed after Kauto Star) has been won by Long Run and Dynaste in recent years and Paul Nicholls has good reason to believe that the mud-lover Just A Par (2.00 Kempton) also has the class to win today’s renewal before going on to better things following his impressive win at Newbury last month.

Very soft ground may also have a significant bearing on the outcome of the Christmas Hurdle, in which The New One and My Tent Or Yours, first and second favourites for the Champion Hurdle, meet for the first time. In theory, Kempton’s two miles should favour the speedier My Tent Or Yours, but a testing surface hands the advantage to The New One (2.35 Kempton).

Cape Tribulation’s prospects of winning the Rowland Meyrick Chase for the second year running have taken a hit with Donald McCain’s decision to run wide-margin Haydock winner Sydney Paget (1.45 Wetherby) here rather than in Chepstow’s Welsh Grand National on Saturday.

For more information about horseracing visit lovetheraces.com

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum