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By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Riverside Theatre can defy a lengthy absence to win the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day for trainer Nicky Henderson who saddles two fancied runners.
The selection was pulled up at his last outing at Aintree in April. But Henderson, who also saddles market leader Long Run, believes the lack of a recent run will suit the Kempton course specialist who was second to Long Run in this race two years ago.
“Riverside Theatre is very good fresh he is very fit and to be honest with you he is ready to run now,” Henderson said ahead of confirmation of the field of 10 runners for the big race on Wednesday.
“You have only got to look at his profile and his history and you will see that he won the Ascot Chase last year and that was 365 days before he won it again this year without a run.
“We have always said we were going to do it this way and we have even contemplated saying that he might only have two runs all season.
“His form off those big breaks is terrific. He is first class and he is always good like that so we just decided that might be the sensible way to do it. And that is the plan.”
The biggest threat is likely to be the 2010 Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Cue Card who was hugely impressive on his comeback at Exeter last month and is racing over three miles for the first time.
Junior, who was supplemented for the race at a cost of £10,000 to his connections last week, is fancied to complete the placings.