Paul Nicholls on the King George VI Chase: I can't split Clan Des Obeaux and Cyrname

Cyrname for Paul Nicholls
Paul Nicholls says Cyrname has had a fantastic preparation ahead of the King George VI Chase

Paul Nicholls is saddling four runners in this year's King George VI Chase as he bids to win the race for a remarkable 12th time. Here are his exclusive views...

"I can’t split Clan and Cyrname to the point that if you gave me £500 to back one of them I wouldn’t know what to do."

King George VI Chase
Boxing Day, 15:00
Live on ITV Racing and Racing TV

Clan Des Obeaux - Looks great and ready for his hat-trick bid

I've won this great race 11 times and am hoping to make it 12 on Saturday with four contenders which is the most I've ever run in the King George.

Clan Des Obeaux has won it in style for the past two years and comes here with every chance of completing the hat-trick. While it looked as though he had a hard race in heavy ground when second to Bristol de Mai in the Betfair Chase at Haydock he has come out of it very well. It was as good as he has ever run first time up, he looks great and is definitely ready to go.

It's fair to say Clan had a better preparation than Cyrname ahead of last year's King George when he beat him by 21 lengths. This time Cyrname has had the better preparation and the way I see it there is nothing between them going to Kempton.

Cyrname - Had a fantastic preparation and he's bouncing at home

He wasn't right last season in several ways after his stirring defeat of Altior in their epic duel at Ascot. Both horses gave their all that day and were not the same afterwards. So this season I was keen to run him at the end of October to ensure that he had a nice break of nine weeks or so before Kempton. I was thrilled with his impressive victory in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby where he jumped as straight as an arrow and sprinted up the run in with his head in his chest.

He has had a fantastic preparation for the King George compared to last year and is a totally different horse this time. People seem to want to crab Cyrname but I couldn't be happier with him, he's bouncing at home and he goes to Kempton in top shape. He is bound to run a big race and will certainly not be beaten 21 lengths.

I can't split Clan and Cyrname to the point that if you gave me £500 to back one of them I wouldn't know what to do.

Frodon - Tremendous yard flagship but he has it all to do here

He has been a fabulous flagship for the yard and achieved a career best with a superb victory at Cheltenham two months ago. You can put a line through his last run at Aintree because jumping is his greatest asset and they took out all the fences in the straight. Although he loves Kempton and seems in good form I suspect he has it all to do against his two stable companions.

Real Steel - Trip should be ideal

I felt he needed the run at Ascot in November on his debut for us and has improved for it. He should enjoy the track at Kempton and if you look at replays of last year's Gold Cup he moved up there going as well as any of them on the run to the last fence before fading out of things on the hill as his stamina ebbed away. So three miles round Kempton should be ideal for Real Steel who could well run into a place.

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