No jockey set in Stone

  • Last Updated: December 17 2012, 20:00 GMT

Daryl Jacob's replacement aboard Kauto Stone in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day has still to be decided.

Kauto Stone: Jockey vacancy

Jacob won the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal on Kauto Star's half-brother, but a suspension picked up at Wincanton for mistaking the winning line has ruled him out of the potentially lucrative Festive period.

Tony McCoy's name has been linked with the mount with trainer Paul Nicholls admitting last week that he had tentatively approached the rider's agent, but Charlie Liverton, racing manager to owner Robin Geffen, stated that as yet discussions remain ongoing.

With the recently-retired Kauto Star having dominated the race recently, Liverton hopes Kauto Stone can continue family tradition.

"Nothing has been finalised yet," said Liverton. "Mr (Robin) Geffen (owner) and Paul Nicholls still need to sit down and come to a decision.

"He's very much on target for the race, though, and has been doing everything nicely since Down Royal, touch wood.

"Being there will just be a dream, but at this stage that's all it is as this game has a habit of bringing you back down to earth, as we found out on Saturday with Cristal Bonus when he had to be put down.

"He was just beginning to realise his potential and it's such a shame."


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(reopens) David Pipe is still aiming Grands Crus at the race.

The grey was a red-hot favourite for the Paddy Power Gold Cup on his seasonal reappearance but disappointed in heavy ground and has since had a wind operation.

Following a piece of work this morning, Pipe tweeted: "Grands Crus galloped this morning and I am pleased with his progress. Still hoping to make the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day."

(reopens) One horse who is less likely to make it to Kempton is Sizing Europe.

He may turn 11 in a few weeks, but the 2011 Queen Mother Champion Chase winner has appeared in the form of his life in his two wins to date so far this season.

However, with good ground not guaranteed at Kempton, trainer Henry de Bromhead is "leaning" towards staying at home.

"It's not 100% just yet that he isn't going to Kempton, but at this stage we are leaning towards Leopardstown," said De Bromhead.

"Which race he runs in will obviously depend on the ground.

"We've got the option of the Lexus or the Dial-A-Bet and we'll choose the best race for the conditions."