Paul Nicholls: Clan ready to run for his life in bid to reclaim King George crown

Paul Nicholls and Clan Des Obeaux
Can Clan win another King George for Paul Nicholls

Paul has a strong team heading to Kempton in search of the big prizes including another King George VI Chase. Read all about them here...

"Best Chance: Bravemansgame - 13:55 Kempton. He is proving a natural over fences and has a great chance of completing the hat-trick."

Course winner is going the right way

12:45 - Paso Doble

Cheek pieces sharpened him up when successful at Taunton last time where he made all the running and was strong at the finish. There is more to come from Paso Doble who showed his liking for the track when successful at Kempton in May.

Trip and track should be just the ticket

13:20 - Danny Kirwan

I've kept him for this novice handicap ever since he ran very well in finishing second at Cheltenham just over two months ago. The way he jumped right-handed that day showed that he needs to be going this way round. He won his bumper at this course and two and a half miles on a flat track like Kempton should be just the ticket for Danny.

More improvement to come from very exciting chaser

13:55 - Bravemansgame

He is very exciting, a stronger horse this season, and couldn't have been more impressive in his two starts over fences so this Grade 1 race was the obvious target for him after his last win at Haydock. There is improvement to come because I haven't been hard on him and I'd like to think he could be coming back to Kempton next year for the King George.

I have plenty of respect for Ahoy Senor but it's only fair to point out that Bravemansgame had a very hard race at Cheltenham last March and was nowhere near his best when beaten by him at Aintree three weeks later.

Defending champ Frodon is in tip top shape

15:05 - Frodon

Bryony Frost gets a fabulous tune out of Frodon who has been a wonderful horse for us over the years and produced arguably a career best performance when beating Galvin and the Gold Cup winner Minella Indo at Down Royal late in October. He had an easy fortnight after that but looks amazing now and is back in tip-top shape, exactly the same that he was when he travelled over to Down Royal. Frodon keeps surprising us and he might surprise us again because you can never rule him out.

Very fit and fresh and has an outstanding chance

15:05 - Clan Des Obeaux

He won this race in 2018 and 2019 but was a bit below par last year when third to Frodon. He was quite hard to train ahead of the King George after such a hard race in finishing second to Bristol de Mai in deep ground at Haydock. Clan also half missed the start at Kempton and was always trying to play catch up. I felt he'd got a bit lazy so we tried cheek pieces and they helped him bounce back in the spring with superb Grade 1 wins at Aintree and Punchestown.

The plan has always been to try a different approach this year by bringing Clan straight to Kempton without a race. He looks great, has had two racecourse gallops, and is hard fit and very fresh. He's ready to run for his life and has an outstanding chance.

Calvados a lively outsider on stable debut

15:05 - Saint Calvados

I'm still getting to know Saint Calvados who had a wind op soon after joining us in the summer. While this is his debut for us he has done plenty of work and followed Clan and Frodon round Wincanton during a recent away day and is all ready to go. There is plenty of his encouragement in his finishing fourth in this race a year ago and I'm hoping a first time tongue tie might help his cause. He is a lively outsider.

Will be better for last run and has solid claims

15:40 - Ecco

He had a little hold up in the autumn so was a bit behind the rest of our team when he ran at Doncaster 29 days ago. Although the race was badly needed he travelled keenly for a long way before tiring late on. He has tightened up for the outing, goes well at Kempton and I'd like to think he has sound claims.

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