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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Fab five in King George but Mag misses Christmas Hurdle

Apple's Jade (far side): will press her Cheltenham Festival claims at Punchestown
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This year's 32Red King George VI Chase will be a matter of quality over quantity after a final field of five, including Cue Card and Thistlecrack, was declared for the Kempton Grade 1 on Friday morning.

The absence of Vroum Vroum Mag from the same card's Christmas Hurdle means five will also go to post for that Grade 1, with Yanworth, The New One, My Tent Or Yours, Ch'Tibello joined by rank outsider Gray Wolf River.

Kempton card in full

A small field will assemble for the King George on Monday but, with superstar stablemates Cue Card and Thistlecrack facing off, excitement levels are huge.

The Colin Tizzard-trained pair will tackle two-time winner Silviniaco Conti, last year's Kauto Star Novices' Chase scorer Tea For Two and Josses Hill, who landed the Betfred Peterborough Chase last time.

Cue Card is a best priced 5-4 shot, while Thistlecrack can be backed at 11-8.

There will be no Irish involvement in the King George after the Gigginstown House Stud-owned pair of Road To Riches and Roi Des Francs were taken out and it is a similar situation in the Christmas Hurdle.

Vroum Vroum Mag had been in the reckoning to take up her engagement for Willie Mullins, who claimed the last two runnings with Faugheen, and her exit leaves Yanworth as the 11-8 favourite with William Hill, ahead of The New One (2-1), My Tent Or Yours (9-2) and Ch'Tibello (11-2).

Irish trainer Tony Martin has declared Anibale Fly among a field of ten for the Grade 1 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase.

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old heads the betting with some firms, closely followed by Frodon and Mite Bite.

Nicky Henderson will give Jenkins a second start over hurdles in the opening 2m novice hurdle, a race the trainer claimed last year with Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Altior.

Cue Card is a best priced 5-4 shot, while Thistlecrack can be backed at 11-8
E.W. Terms
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