Duo cause King George shake-up

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 23 2012, 11:15 GMT

The King George VI Chase market underwent another shake-up on Saturday as both Sir Des Champs and Finian's Rainbow were taken out of the race.

Sir Des Champs: Off to Leopardstown, not Kempton
Sir Des Champs: Off to Leopardstown, not Kempton

Sir Des Champs, backed in for victory at Kempton in the morning, was taken out by trainer Willie Mullins in the afternoon. He will instead run in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.

Finian's Rainbow was also withdrawn, with heavy ground fears a concern for Nicky Henderson's charge, more used to running over shorter distances.

Favourite Long Run duly hardened for the King George, several firms going into 7/4. 2/1 was still generally available on Saturday evening though.

Riverside Theatre, a stablemate of Finian's Rainbow, has also been widely cut. Paddy Power and sportingbet offered a best of 6/1.

Others to be shortened on Saturday were The Giant Bolster and Junior. It emerged on Saturday that Tony McCoy could ride The Giant Bolster.

The pair were moved into 14/1 (YouWin) and 25/1 (general) respectively.

In contrast, both Cue Card (out to 11/2) and Captain Chris (12s) drifted out amid concerns about the deep ground.

Final declarations for the King George will be made on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Sir Des Champs was put up at a best of 7/2 (Paddy Power) for the Lexus Chase.

Flemenstar, who had been shortening up earlier on Saturday, was moved back out to 11/8 by the same firm following the Sir Des Champs news.