King George VI Chase and Boxing Day racing – live!

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Verdana Blue ended the long unbeaten run of dual champion hurdler Buveur D’Air in the Unibet Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Both horses are trained by Nicky Henderson, and they had it between them from the second-last, where it looked like 1-4 favourite Buveur D’Air was always just going to do enough to hold on.

He had made a terrible blunder at the third-last, hardly taking off, although it barely checked his momentum and Barry Geraghty seemingly had everything under control as he took up the running from Global Citizen. However, Nico de Boinville had yet to ask the mare Verdana Blue (11-2) for everything and she was gaining with every stride after the last.

As any schoolboy ought to know, Cheltenham and Kempton are very different tracks and horses which prosper at Prestbury are by no means certain to succeed in Sunbury. Still, it is odd indeed to see the reigning Gold Cup winner, Native River (3.05), being so cold-shouldered in the betting for this King George VI Chase.

At the time of writing he is only sixth in the list with some firms, bigger in places than his stablemate Thistlecrack, who has not won for two years. He may not be the fastest or the flashiest in a fascinating field but Native River may very well be the toughest of them and represents excellent value at 6-1 or bigger.

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Written by Tony Paley
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2018/dec/26/king-george-vi-chase-boxing-day-racing under the title “King George VI Chase and Boxing Day racing – live!”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.