King George VI Chase betting tips: Waiting Patiently the punt in Kempton festive feature

The 2018 King George VI Chase betting tips on Horsebetting.com have unbeaten chaser Waiting Patiently down as the value bet to win the 3m Grade 1 feature race at Kempton on Boxing Day. Last year’s winner Might Bite is feared most if bouncing back to form. Thistlecrack was an impressive victor in the 2016 renewal, so is one to consider each-way based on his third last time out. Read our detailed 2018 King George VI Chase betting tips preview for more on these horses.

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Odds
5/1
Selection
Waiting Patiently
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888sport logo
Odds
3/1
Danger
Might Bite
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Betfair logo
Odds
15/2
E/W
Thistlecrack
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Waiting Patiently the King George punt

A stellar renewal of the Grade 1 King George VI Chase is a real Christmas cracker on Boxing Day at Kempton (15:05), and Waiting Patiently puts his unbeaten record on the line. This Ruth Jefferson trained seven-year-old is six from six over fences and steps up to tackle 3m for the first time here.

Waiting Patiently is by Flemensfirth out of a Beneficial mare, so that stamina laden pedigree strongly suggests getting the trip won’t be any problem. After winning his first two chase starts at Sedgefield and Newcastle, he took the step up into Grade 2 company when holding Politologue by a cosy length at Haydock.

Although now 3lb worse off with Paul Nicholls’ runner, who is also over 3m for the first time, Waiting Patiently kept on well and is more lightly-raced. He is rated 2lb superior to Politologue, so meeting off level weights should be no problem.

Young, improving and lightly-raced chaser

Waiting Patiently had just three starts last season, winning Listed contests at Carlisle and here over an extended 2m 4f. He readily quickened to lead when nudged along after two out at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue and ran on strongly to score by eight lengths.

Connections then pitched Waiting Patiently into Grade 1 company in the Ascot Chase last time out back in February. After being held-up, he closed from the 12th fence to go second three out and led after the penultimate jump, running out a commanding 2 3/4 lengths winner over Cue Card.

Both the third and fourth horses home, Frodon and Top Notch, have come out and won valuable prizes at Cheltenham and Sandown respectively, so the form looks strong. As Waiting Patiently has a great record fresh, reappearing in the King George shouldn’t faze him.

With trainer and jockey each operating at about a 20 per cent strike rate in the last 14 days at the time of writing, a bold bid looks assured. It’s Waiting Patiently who therefore appeals most and heads our 2018 King George VI Chase betting tips.

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Last year’s winner Might Bite feared most

Might Bite loves Kempton and would be three from three at the track had he not come to grief at the last when well clear in the 2016 Kauto Star. He dispelled that ghost of Christmas past when winning the King George 12 months ago and is feared most on that form if leaving his reappearance run behind.

The Nicky Henderson trained nine-year-old is clearly suited by the flat track, staying on comfortably for an eight-length hurdles success here over 2m 5f back in March 2016. Might Bite then scored on his second chase start at Doncaster before taking a tumble and resumed winning ways in emphatic fashion back in Yorkshire.

This son of Scorpion then nearly threw the RSA Chase away at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, but rallied to lead again in the final stride and just touch Whisper off by a nose. He then confirmed the form in more straightforward fashion at Aintree and big things were thus expected of Might Bite last season.

He won unextended by eight lengths from Frodon on return to action at Sandown, and then went straight to the King George. Might Bite could afford to idle out in front and still score by a length from Double Shuffle and finish ahead of others who re-oppose.

Has the beating of many rivals here

They include Bristol De Mai, Tea For Two and Thistlecrack, and Might Bite was sent off favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March as a result. The ground came up quite soft, however, and Native River outstayed Might Bite by virtue of acting best on the surface.

Underfoot conditions are now better suited to Henderson’s runner, so the form could easily be reversed. Although a below par last of five on reappearance at Haydock when quickly weakening and the first one beaten, that run from Might Bite was just too bad to be true.

He finished tired in the Betfair Chase and could well come on for the run now returned to a happy hunting ground. The market speaks in Might Bite’s favour as, despite his disappointing return to action, he has headed the betting since initial entries came out.

Nothing much seems straightforward with this hugely talented horse, but his course form marks him out as a particular danger in a race where a case can be made for most. Might Bite is thus feared most and can give the improvers in the King George field plenty to think about.

Thistlecrack the each-way wager

Venn Farm trainer Colin Tizzard has won two of the last three renewals, with Cue Card and Thistlecrack. The popular veteran has had setbacks, but is far from alone in that regard in this 10-runner field and, at the odds on offer, looks worth an each-way punt.

Thistlecrack had the world at his feet following an awesome novice chase campaign in which he won the King George easing down after facile successes at Chepstow, Cheltenham and Newbury. He was all the rage for the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup despite just being held a head by the ill-fated, lion-hearted Grand National hero Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase.

Nothing has gone right for this son of Kayf Tara since. Injury put paid to Thistlecrack’s last two bids to win the blue riband event of steeplechasing, but he was only beaten 5 3/4 lengths by Might Bite in this last year. He is still rated 8lb superior to Double Shuffle and Tea For Two, so on a going day should finish ahead of them.

If coming on for being beaten a similar margin by Haydock specialist Bristol De Mai on reappearance in the Betfair Chase, then Thistlecrack holds obvious claims of making the frame. He will need to jump with the zest of a couple of years ago again, but completes our 2018 King George VI Chase betting tips as the each-way punt.

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