The festive period is a hotbed of racing, and it doesn’t get much better than the King George VI Chase.
Historically held on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas Day is an ideal time to indulge in a festive flutter. This year, the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding, Cyrname, is the steady favourite to take the crown.
However, stablemate Clan des Obeaux is a worthy competitor with previous form in the race in the last two years. The victor won’t be announced until the 26th, so until then, all we can do is analyse which horse has the best chance of adding the crown to its trophy cabinet.
Cyrname - what a performance in the @bet365 Charlie Hall Chase 👏 @WetherbyRaces @PFNicholls @CobdenHarry pic.twitter.com/WVBDupse1i
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) October 31, 2020
Cyrname – A Charlie Hall Chase Masterclass
Wetherby isn’t a track you’ll often hear in the annals of horse racing history, yet it plays a big part in the 2020 King George VI Chase.
After a period on the sidelines, Cyrname started as the second favourite in the market as questions marks surrounded his ability to handle a left-handed track. Within six-and-a-half-minutes, he cantered to the winning post, beating the runner-up (Vinndication) by the most flattering two lengths.
By laying the doubts to rest and staying three miles, the Nicholls charge brings recent and historical form to the table – the eight-year-old got the better of Altior at Ascot last November. When you combine the two, it’s easy to see why the horse racing betting odds put Cyrname at the head of the market at 3-1.
A Beaten Champion
Clan des Obeaux is the sort of horse that you never back against. Indeed, the gelding is the reigning King George champion, having taken the title in 2019 at odds of 11-2.
On top of this, he won in 2018 when backed into 12-1, so he has the class and the form to back up his second-favourite standings at 7-2. A very telling fact is that not only has he won the King George previously and has the experience to repeat the feat, but he beat Cyrname in the very same race last year by two lengths.
Yes, Cyrname has three weeks more rest time this year to reverse the standings, but Clan des Obeaux is the type of horse who thrives under pressure and pulls it out of the bag against world-class opposition.
Simply the Betts
Simply the Betts is a lot further down the betting and doesn’t appear to be a rival to the two big guns on first viewing. However, the “long shot” has a lot to offer punters as he’s already a Cheltenham Festival winner after taking the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate last March.
Fortune is also on Betts’ side, since the winning jockey that day, Gavin Sheehan, is ready to reunite with the horse after breaking his wrist in September. A lot hinges on their connection, but the Gold Cup will tell horse racing fans more about the chances of the pairing. If they win, you can expect the 25-1 odds to tumble before December the 26th.
On current form, Cyrname looks like the horse to beat. However, Clan des Obeaux is a champion to the end and won’t go down without a fight.