King George VI Chase 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide
Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Boxing Day's King George IV Chase, and pick out their 1-2-3...
"Open to further improvement over fences and commands maximum respect."
Timeform on Waiting Patiently
1. BRISTOL DE MAI (NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES/DARYL JACOB)
Won Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and Betfair Chase at Haydock (by 57 lengths from Cue Card) on first two starts in 2017/18. Maintained impeccable record at Haydock when winning latest renewal of Betfair Chase by four lengths from Native River on return last month. Failed to fire in this race last season, but arrives fresher this time round, and clearly top class on his day. Respected.
2. CLAN DES OBEAUX (PAUL NICHOLLS/HARRY COBDEN)
Won graduation event at Haydock (2¾m, by seven lengths from Vintage Clouds) in 2017/18. Creditable eight and three quarter lengths fourth to Bristol de Mai in Betfair Chase last time. Still only a six-year-old, and remains lightly raced over staying trips, so could yet improve further.
3. CONEYGREE (MARK BRADSTOCK/SEAN BOWEN)
Top-class at best, winning all four starts as novice in 2014/15, including Cheltenham Gold Cup. Plagued with injuries since, but showed he retains plenty of ability (had breathing operation) when six and a quarter lengths third to Rock The Kasbah off top weight in Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham last time.
4. DOUBLE SHUFFLE (TOM GEORGE/PADDY BRENNAN)
Standout effort when length second to Might Bite in this race in 2017/18, and took step back in right direction when four and a half lengths second to Definitly Red in Many Clouds Chase at Aintree last time. More needed to match his effort here 12 months ago, but return to this venue may help.
5. MIGHT BITE (NICKY HENDERSON/NICO DE BOINVILLE)
Top-class chaser who made further progress in 2017/18, winning this race (by length from Double Shuffle), before just coming up short to stronger stayer Native River in Gold Cup at Cheltenham (3¼m). Regained winning thread in Bowl Chase at Aintree (by seven lengths from Bristol de Mai) final start that season, but well beaten by that rival in Betfair Chase on return, let down by his jumping. Worth forgiving that run, and no surprise were he to bounce back with a bang here.
6. NATIVE RIVER (COLIN TIZZARD/RICHARD JOHNSON)
Won both starts in 2017/18, namely Denman Chase at Newbury (by 12 lengths from Cloudy Dream) and Gold Cup at Cheltenham (3¼m, by four and a half lengths from Might Bite, finding plenty). Respectable four lengths second to Bristol de Mai in Betfair Chase last time, not performing to his very best but doing all that he could under conditions that didn't place enough emphasis on stamina.
7. POLITOLOGUE (PAUL NICHOLLS/SAM TWISTON-DAVIES)
Won four times in 2017/18, including Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown (2m) and Melling Chase at Aintree (2½m, by neck from Min). Off eight months, and followed up in 21f 1965 Chase at Ascot last time by half a length from Charbel, leading from three out and always holding on. That form franked since and looks an interesting contender on his first try at 3m (bred to stay this far).
8. TEA FOR TWO (MRS JANE WILLIAMS/LIZZIE KELLY)
More miss than hit in 2017/18 (albeit highly tried), but took a step back in right direction (had undergone breathing operation) when 12 lengths third to Charbel in Peterborough Chase (2½m) at Huntingdon last time. Will be suited by return to 3m but losing run mounting up and will likely prove vulnerable from a win perspective once more. Runs this track well, though (third last year).
9. THISTLECRACK (COLIN TIZZARD/TOM SCUDAMORE)
Has been beset with problems since winning this race in 2016, seen only twice in 2017/18 and below his best both times. Made encouraging comeback from 11 months off when five and three quarter lengths third to Bristol de Mai in Betfair Chase last time. Has to prove he can back that up, but not out of the question he'll sharpen up all around, and shouldn't be written off here.
10. WAITING PATIENTLY (RUTH JEFFERSON/BRIAN HUGHES)
Unbeaten over fences, and passed most demanding test with flying colours when winning Betfair Ascot Chase (21f, by two and three quarter lengths from Cue Card) final start in 2017/18. This race nominated as his long-term plan after, and reportedly in rude health following a racecourse gallop last week. Open to further improvement over fences and commands maximum respect. Will stay 3m.
Minimum Bet Guarantee
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Timeform's King George VI Chase Analyst Verdict
WAITING PATIENTLY took the step up to Grade 1 level in his stride at Ascot in February and is selected to make light of an absence (has good record fresh) and extend his unbeaten chase record to 7. Paul Nicholls has won this 9 times and Politologue could be a big threat if his stamina holds up in trip, while last year's winner Might Bite is much better than he showed on his reappearance.
Timeform's King George VI Chase 1-2-3
1. Waiting Patiently
3. Might Bite