Long Run will go into the King George on Boxing Day as the warm favourite to win the race for the second successive year. The Nicky Henderson horse heads a stellar list of eight runners for for the Kempton showpiece on Monday and it promises to be a key trial race for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. The main opponent to Long Run is likely to be Kauto Star who will be going for a fifth King George win following his brilliant Betfair Chase success last month. The Paul Nicholls dual Gold Cup winner is simply the most popular horse in the country and he will be the subject of heavy money on the day of the race. It has to be said though that Kauto was beaten out of sight by Long Run in the King George last season and while he reversed that form at Haydock recently he does have to produce a career best at 11 years old.
While Long Run and Kauto Star are tried and tested at Kempton over three miles there are two other horses in the field who are somewhat of an unknown quantity. The bookmakers are wary of Master Minded and Captain Chris who are two top class horses in their own right but are yet to have a run over this trip. Master Minded is a two-time Champion Chaser over two miles which proves he is of the highest class and connections have had this race in mind since he won the Melling Chase in April. The same can be said of Captain Chris who was a Cheltenham Festival winner last season when he won the Arkle and could be anything over three miles. It looks like a mouthwatering King George Chase this season with four of the very best horses set to take their chance in one of the biggest races of the season on Boxing Day.