King George Chase Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis

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King George Chase Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis
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A quick glance at ante-post odds with betting sites for the 2024 King George VI Chase suggests that the festive period’s showpiece event is likely to be heading to an overseas raider once again.

We have barely had the chance to fully digest Hewick’s remarkable late show in the 2023 edition yet such is the nature of this game, our attention is already turning to what this great race might have in store in 2024.

The 2023 King George  - What Did We Learn?

We now know, if confirmation were needed, that Hewick is a proper Grade 1 horse when ground conditions are on his side

He already had a Grade 1 success on his CV but the calibre of opposition he faced out in America was a long way shy of that at Kempton on Boxing Day. 

He was in the process of running extremely well in last season’s Gold Cup before coming to grief two-out, but he was on the retreat at that the time and looked tired on ground that was softer than ideal.

If they were to get better ground at Cheltenham in March, he would have to be considered a lively outsider.

It looked for a long way like Hewick wouldn’t be landing a blow in the 2023 King George but the leaders got racing plenty far enough out and that helped suck Hewick into the race late on. 

His late charge proved irresistible, so much so that he would probably still have gone close to winning had Shishkin not unseated Nico de Boinville.

No doubt Hewick will be back to defend his crown in 2024 but we know this horse needs decent ground to show his best, so his participation largely depends on a dry build-up to the race.

The aforementioned Shishkin got his career well and truly back on track after refusing to race in the 1965 Chase at Ascot. 

Grade 1 winner at Aintree last season, he appeared to be well on the way to plundering another huge top-level prize before stumbling and unseating his rider after the second last. 

He was around a length up at the time and we know he sees his races out strongly so it would have taken a big finishing effort from one of his rivals to have got past him. 

He’s a general 12/1 with betting apps for the 2024 race, five points shorter than Hewick, and there will be plenty worse 12/1 ante-post bets around than Shishkin to make amends in 2024, for all his quirks. 

The danger could be that, if his season was to go south from here, connections might be tempted to retire him. On the basis that he’ll be in training next year, he looks an obvious contender for the King George.

It’s also hard to knock Bravemansgame who was not done any favours at the second last. He rallied bravely late on and clearly ran a huge race in defence of his 2022 crown. 

It just feels like he’s vulnerable in Grade 1 company now, for all that he is running well in defeat, and there are one or two high-class novices down at Ditcheat that look likely King George contenders next season.

Allaho had his chance but couldn’t justify favouritism and he’s 10 years of age now, so he’s not going to be any better next season, even if he stays in training.

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French Fancy?

Anyone that watched the action from Kempton on Boxing Day won’t be surprised to know that Il Est Francais heads ante-post King George 2024 betting lists at 9/4

The rising star of French jumps racing made it 3-3 over fences with a quite spectacular round of jumping in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, despite racing on the fastest ground he’s ever encountered.

A Grade 1 winner over hurdles, he took apart a small but select field and it was impossible to not have been impressed with the way he sailed over many of his obstacles. It was a performance of such class that he would probably have gone close in the King George itself.

Connections are eyeing a tilt at the French Gold Cup before targeting their stable star at a return to Kempton for the 2024 King George, where he will be many people’s idea of the winner. 

Is he value at 9/4 this far out? Probably not, but he’s only six years of age and appears to have the world at his feet. 

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Mullins' Novices Must Be Feared

Willie Mullins has only won the King George VI Chase once since 2001, and that was with a 28/1 outsider. 

However, he went close with Allaho and the Closutton maestro isn’t short on potential options for the 2024 contest, most notably with rising star Gaelic Warrior

Gaelic Warrior has only jumped fences twice in public but he’s looked a complete natural on both occasions and he was not hard pressed to win the Grade 1 Guinness Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick by five and a half lengths over Christmas. 

Five of his six career wins have come on right-handed tracks and he looks capable of developing into a top-class three miler chaser next season. 

The fact that he’s as short as 4/1 with horse racing betting sites in ante-post King George lists highlights just how big an impression this horse has made since switching to fences.

Stablemate Grangeclare West is now also a potential 2024 King George candidate after fairly bolting up in the Grade 1 Neville Hotes Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas. 

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned eight-year-old travelled all over high-class rivals like Corbetts Cross and Flooring Porter before easing clear under a super-confident Paul Townend. 

The lightly-raced Grangeclare West looks set to take much higher rank over fences than he did over hurdles so it will be interesting to see what route he takes next year. 

However, it’s unlikely that Mullins would run both Gaelic Warrior and Grangeclare West in a King George and the former looks a slightly better fit for the race at this stage.

2024 King George VI Chase Ante-Post Verdict

It looks likely that we’ll get a new name on the King George Chase trophy in 2024 and the chances are it’s going to be one of the young pretenders. 

Il Est Francais and Gaelic Warrior have looked stars in the making in their short spells over fences so far, but the market hasn’t missed them and the 12/1 on offer about SHISHKIN looks a more than fair alternative. 

Assuming he stays in training, connections will surely try to make amends for the one that got away in 2023. 

Reigning champ Hewick would need decent ground to have any real chance of defending his crown.

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