Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Paul Nicholls is confident Bravemansgame can make the most of what he has described will be a “home game” in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Since running out a 14-length winner of the Grade One contest 12 months ago, the son of Brave Mansonnien has suffered four straight defeats, including when second behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, ahead of bidding to give Nicholls a record-extending 14th win in the race.

However, Nicholls reports Bravemansgame to have a taken a step forward since his most recent start when finding Royale Pagaille too strong in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.

Nicholls said: “Bravemansgame won the race last year and then the season before he won the Kauto Star (Novices’ Chase) around Kempton. He loves it there and it is the ultimate track for him. It is almost a home game for him in many ways.

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Royale Pagaille leaves Bravemansgame trailing in the Betfair Chase at Haydock

“Whether the Gold Cup left a mark on him I don’t know, and it could be that it has just taken a while to get him back. He worked as well as he could work on Saturday, and he looks good. We are looking forward to the King George.

“What have we got coming from England to take him on? There is Shishkin, who has got a question mark next to him, and Royale Pagaille who beat him at Haydock Park.

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Nico de Boinville says they have ‘tried everything’ to prepare Shishkin to start in next week’s King George

“I would be disappointed if we didn’t beat Royale Pagaille around Kempton. We got outstayed at Haydock Park by that horse, but he has run well there before, and it suits him well.

“Allaho came back and won the other day from his time off, but is he as good as he was? There are plenty of ifs, buts and question marks, but we are very happy with Bravemansgame.

“I think he has got a great chance there is no doubt about it. The previous year’s winner of the race is always the one to beat and he has definitely taken a step forward since Haydock Park.”

Frodon poised for Kempton return

Nicholls is also set to be represented by 2020 winner Frodon, who finished third on his return to action when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Badger Beer Handicap Chase at Wincanton. 

The trainer said: “He loves it around there and he is in really good form. He is not getting any younger, but he will still run a good race.

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Frodon won the King George under Bryony Frost in 2020

“He has been a great horse for us. He has come on from Wincanton where the ground went a bit soft and it didn’t quite work out.

“He has a huge task at the age of 11 against those younger legs, but he will still run a good race. He is a legend of a horse. It would be absolutely wonderful if he could finish third or fourth.”

Rubaud to take on Constitution Hill

Before both Bravemansgame and Frodon take to the track hat-tricking seeking stablemate Rubaud will bid to carry out what Nicholls believes is an “impossible task” when attempting to become the first horse to defeat Constitution Hill under rules in the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle.

He said: “His form is progressive, and he keeps on winning, but this another big step he has got to take. You can never be afraid of one horse they say, but Constitution Hill is a special horse.

Image:
Rubaud, ridden by jockey Harry Cobden, on his way to winning the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle

“He will be a hard horse to beat, however we will give it our best shot and if we finish second we will be delighted.

“I don’t think there is any chink in Constitution Hill’s armour, and he will be ready for this. Rubaud won the Kingwell Hurdle well, but this will be an impossible task on what we have seen from Constitution Hill.”

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The post Kempton’s King George VI Chase: Bravemansgame can claim ‘home’ win says Paul Nicholls appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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