King George VI Chase: Hewick wins after Shishkin slip – live updates | King George VI Chase

Key events

Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle (3.40pm) betting

  • Emailandy 9/4

  • Will Carver 11/4

  • Artistic Endeavour 9/2

  • Mark Of Gold 15/2

  • Mahons Glory 8/1

  • Chance A Tune 9/1

  • Kitty’s Light 28/1

  • Odds via

Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle (3.40pm) preview

Three non-runners in the getting-out stakes – Bear Ghylls, Pounding Poet and my original pick, Classic Lord – but it is still a very trappy little contest before the journey home. Many punters will put their faith in one of the runners from the powerhouse yards, with Emailandy (Paul Nicholls) and Will Carver (Nicky Henderson) likely to head the betting, but in the absence of Classic Lord, I’ll probably have a small interest in Tim Vaughan’s Artistic Endeavour, who has been running consistently well so far this season while also looking sure to benefit from today’s step up in trip.


Ladbrokes Maiden Hurdle (3.05pm)

And they’re off … Court In The Act leads with a circuit to go with Gentlemen’s Relish and OneThreeFiveNotOut just behind … Moon Chime creeps closer and Seattle King is tailed off. Court In The Act not jumping too cleanly but still leads in the home straight … he just has one to jump, clears it and stays on strongly to beat OneThreeFiveNotOut and Moon Chime.

Ladbrokes Maiden Hurdle (3.05pm) betting

  • Gentleman’s Relish 5/2

  • Moon Chime 3/1

  • Onethreefivenotout 3/1

  • Court In The Act 4/1

  • Wee Tony 11/1

  • Selwan 20/1

  • Sea Invasion 20/1

  • King Of The Road 80/1

  • Seattle King 80/1

  • Too Much Hammer 100/1

  • Odds via

Ladbrokes Maiden Hurdle (3.05pm) preview

Greg Wood

A significant tweak to the conditions of what used to be the card’s two-mile novice hurdle sees it being run this year as a maiden hurdle, and the top two in the betting – Gentleman’s Relish and Moon Chime – will be jumping a hurdle in public for the first time this afternoon. Gentleman’s Relish, from Nicky Henderson’s yard, improved to win a “bumper” – a flat race for jumps-bred horses – at Newbury in November but the time of the race was nothing special and he looks a somewhat dubious favourite at around 11-4. I’ll be looking for a big run from Court In The Act, who made a perfectly decent debut over hurdles when second at Hereford in November and is sure to improve for the experience.


King George VI Chase (2.30pm) result

1 Hewick 12/1
2 Bravemansgame 9/4
3 Allaho 13/8f

King George VI Chase (2.30pm)

And they’re off … and Shishkin has started but looks a little reluctant to get going! He’s through to third behind Allaho and the leader Frodon. Bravesmangame is in fourth spot at this early stage. Shishkin moves into second place with a circuit to go … and is now challenging Frodon for first place. Allaho and Bravesmangame are just behind. No change in the order but now Shishkin goes to the lead. Allaho and Bravesmangame are trying to challenge. They turn for home … Shishkin goes for the winning post. Bravesmangame is trying hard. Shishkin has unseated his rider and Hewick comes late to beat Bravesmangame and Allaho. Now that’s drama!!!! Shishkin slipped after the second-last fence and dumped his jockey and then Hewick came from last to first … what a race!

Hewick (green) ridden by Gavin Sheehan goes on to wins the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase.
Hewick (green) ridden by Gavin Sheehan goes on to wins the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase. Photograph: John Walton/PA

King George VI Chase (2.30pm) betting

  • Allaho 15/8

  • Bravemansgame 9/4

  • Shishkin 10/3

  • Hewick 10/1

  • The Real Whacker 11/1

  • Frodon 33/1

  • Odds via

King George VI Chase (2.30pm) preview

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

A feature event which has pretty much everything you could hope for, despite the smallish field: two former winners in Frodon and Bravemansgame, a resurgent potential champion in Allaho, a quirky but talented wild card in Shishkin and two live each-way shots in Hewick and The Real Whacker. The best story would probably be a win for The Real Whacker and Patrick Neville’s small yard in Yorkshire, but all the possible outcomes would be warmly received. The market is struggling to separate Allaho and Bravemansgame, the winner 12 months ago, but Allaho is just about clinging on to favouritism and the balance of his form definitely gives him an edge. The question is whether the talent that carried him to blistering wins in the Ryanair Chase in March 2022 and the Punchestown Gold Cup a month later still burns as brightly after just one start in 20 months.

Bravemansgame was an impressive winner 12 months ago he has not won in four subsequent starts and potentially has a little to find with Allaho even at his very best, while Shishkin, capable though he is, has not seemed quite the same since his epic defeat of Energumene at Ascot two seasons ago. If there is an each-way bet to be had, it is probably The Real Whacker, who has much more scope for progress than his rivals with just four runs over fences behind him, and a front-running style that is well-suited to the challenge. Whether he is quite ready to bridge the gap to a horse of Allaho’s quality, though, remains to be seen.


Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (1.55pm)

And they’re off … Rubaud leads in the early stages … Constitution Hill is close up in second … Sceau Royal is also prominent … Black Poppy is at the back … Constitution Hill starts to make his move … that’s a brilliant jump at the second-last and he kicks clear for an easy win. That was little more than an exercise canter.

Nico de Boinville riding Constitution Hill easily win The Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle.
Nico de Boinville riding Constitution Hill easily win The Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

We’ve had this message from Jonathan Powell, the former Fleet Street and BBC racing correspondent:

When my friend the Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Steve Jobar was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in April 2022 he asked me to chair his committee raising vital funds for a cure for future generations.

You will have seen Kevin Sinfield run seven magnificent marathons in seven days recently for the same cause.

I’m afraid I cannot run a mile these days. No surprise there. But our lunch for 450 guests at Newbury in March has sold out with just about everything sponsored including the drinks and a race in Steve’s name.

He is losing weight, has issues with his left arm, is starting to struggle to swallow and his speech is now impossibly hard to understand. But he is wonderfully defiant as this most horrible of diseases takes hold.

Probably the best way to help Steve raise funds is to donate to his Justgiving page with every penny going to the MND Assn.

Your support will mean the world to Steve and his wife Dottie.

With best wishes and thanks in advance.

Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (1.55pm) betting

  • Constitution Hill 1/11

  • Rubaud 15/2

  • First Street 28/1

  • Sceau Royal 40/1

  • Black Poppy 50/1

  • Odds via

Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle (1.55pm) preview

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

From a betting point of view, this is likely to be a non-event, as Constitution Hill is so far ahead of his rivals – indeed, every other hurdler on the planet – that defeat is all but inconceivable. His price is hovering around 1-10, and while the five-year-old Rubaud is a new opponent for Nicky Henderson’s gelding and arrives on a four-race winning streak, that form still gives him around two stone to find with the odds-on favourite.


Kauto Star Novice Chase (1.20pm)

Amnd they’re off … Il Est Francais in lead and jumping very well … Hermes Allen is second … Tightenourbelts not very fluent there … Giovinco in third and getting closer with a circuit to go … Il Est Francais still leading and jumping fluently and now going further clear … Marble Sands is pulled up … Hermes Allen not too far behind in second but the leader kicks again … a spectacular leap four out … Kilbeg King tries to close … Hermes Allen tries to close too but Il Est Francais jumps the last and easily wins – that was a brilliant performance.

Il Est Francis clears the last to win The Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices' Chase.
Il Est Francis clears the last to win The Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Kauto Star Novice Chase (1.20pm) betting

  • Hermes Allen 6/4

  • Il Est Francais 6/4

  • Giovinco 9/2

  • Marble Sands 16/1

  • Tightenourbelts 25/1

  • Kilbeg King 30/1

  • Odds via

Kauto Star Novice Chase (1.20pm) preview

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

A cracking Grade One novice chase and a welcome hint that French jumping could be on an upward trajectory after a decade or more when most of their best prospects were immediately snapped up for six-figure sums and shipped off to Ireland. Il Est Francais, the winner of his first two starts over fences at Auteuil, is a fascinating contender from Noel George and Amanda Zetterholm’s yard near Chantilly, and would be the first French-trained winner at this meeting since 2002, when Guilliaume Macaire’s Jair Du Cochet won the same race. He is clearly a fine prospect Timeform’s assessment of his form to date gives him a fair bit to find with the favourite, Hermes Allen, however, and Paul Nicholls’s runner, who started off over fences with a win in a Grade Two event, is likely to take all the beating.


Ladbrokes Novice Handicap Chase (12.45pm)

And they’re off … Outlaw Peter has the early lead … Idalko Bihoue moves up to lead … Es Perfecto is at the back but it’s early days … Russian Ruler has been jumping to his right … and is not going well … Idalko Bihoue still at the front … Russian Ruler takes a more prominent position … Plenty in with a chance but Outlaw Peter heads for home … Blow Your Wad makes a challenge … and comes to take the lead at the last and goes on to win.

Blow Your Wad ridden by Stan Sheppared (right) wins The Ladbrokes Boost Your Odds On Racing Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.
Blow Your Wad ridden by Stan Sheppared (right) wins The Ladbrokes Boost Your Odds On Racing Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. Photograph: John Walton/PA

Ladbrokes Novice Handicap Chase (12.45pm) betting

  • Russian Ruler 7/2

  • Idalko Bihoue 4/1

  • Blow Your Wad 9/2

  • Es Perfecto 6/1

  • General Medrano 13/2

  • Off To A Fly 7/1

  • Outlaw Peter 11/1

  • Kotmask 16/1

  • Odds via

We’re seeing potentially the best hurdler of all-time today again with the return of Constitution Hill. There’s no doubt who was the greatest chaser … and his career ended 57 years ago today with injury when running in the King George.

Ladbrokes Novice Handicap Chase (12.45pm) preview

Greg Wood

Greg Wood

A fiendishly tight-knit handicap to kick off the Kempton card, and a case can be made for all eight runners. Russian Ruler is the narrow favourite, perhaps as bookies are expecting plenty of multiples on Nicky Henderson’s runners over the afternoon. He made a satisfactory start over fences in a handicap at Newbury at the start of the month, and the first two home have both won since, but Russian Ruler has already had several wind ops and did not show quite as much as you might like for a market leader in a race like this. Blow Your Wad showed a lot of promise too on his chase debut in mid-November, but I’m going to row in with Idalko Bihoue, who was placed in Grade One company over hurdles and looked to have learned plenty, with further progress likely, when winning at Cheltenham in late October.


There’ll be a few more at Kempton today.
There’ll be a few more at Kempton today. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Hope you had a good Christmas and have blown off the cobwebs as we are quickly into the action. They’ve set off already at Sedgefield and Fontwell it’s non-stop action now till it goes dark at around 4pm. There are many fascinating plots today aside from the traditional big Christmas mystery of who will win the King George and one is definitely whether Shishkin will actually set off in the big race after he said “no thanks” and downed tools last time at Ascot. I’m grateful to David Johnson at Timeform who has crunched the numbers and informs me that 615 horses have refused to race on the Flat or over jumps in the UK and Ireland since 2010. Of those 107 refused again on their next start (that’s 17.4% interestingly).

The Shishkin backers don’t seem to have lost faith. A spokesperson from gets in touch to point out: “Shishkin remains a crowd pleaser and is not far behind favourite Allaho and Bravemansgame in the betting in terms of volume traded . The odds of 3-1 also suggests that bookmakers don’t want to risk it as there’s always the worry for them that the very talented Shishkin will prove the doubters wrong today.”

Shishkin refuses to get going at Ascot.


Greg Wood

Greg Wood

Good morning from Kempton Park, where a boisterous post-Christmas crowd is assembling for one of the most traditional afternoons at the track in the racing calendar.

A select field of six, all but one of which will go to post with a very plausible chance, will contest the King George VI Chase at 2.30, with the winner joining a list that includes many – indeed, most – of the greatest names in jump racing over the last 60 years.

It was the scene of one of Arkle’s most memorable victories in 1965, and also his final race a year later (of which no film is known to exist, as the BBC did not send its cameras that year). It was the race which turned Desert Orchid into a household name in the mid-1980s, and has subsequently been won by outstanding chasers including Best Mate, One Man and, of course, the incomparable Kauto Star, successful five times in six years between 2006 and 2011.

Paul Nicholls with last year’s King George winner Bravemansgame.
Paul Nicholls with last year’s King George winner Bravemansgame. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

The dominant trainer in this race over the last quarter of a century has been Paul Nicholls, who won his first King George with See More Business in 1997 and has been racing up subsequent wins at the rate of pretty much one over two years to the point where he now has an astonishing 13 wins in all. See More Business, Kauto Star, Silviniaco Conti and Clan Des Obeaux, the first four of his six individuals winners, all went on to record at least one more victory, and the final two – Frodon (2020) and Bravemansgame (2022) – are both in the field for today’s renewal.

Frodon and Bryony Frost, who missed out on a rapturous reception when winning at 25-1 behind closed doors three years ago, are 50-1 outsiders for today’s race, but Bravemansgame is vying for favouritism with Willie Mullins’s Allaho, with just a quarter of a point between the two horses at present at 9-4 and 2-1 respectively.

Add in the mercurial Shishkin, who has been backed in to around 7-2 as punters bank on him deciding to jump off with the field, plus two live each-way shots in The Real Whacker and Hewick, and a memorable race is in prospect.

Constitution Hill, the best jumper in training, will be strutting his stuff in the Christmas Hurdle at 1.55, while three outstanding novice chase prospects are in opposition in the Grade One Kauto Star Novice Chase at 1.20.

You can, as ever, follow all the action here on the blog as one of the most eagerly-anticipated cards of the year, and the action is underway at 12.45.

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