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Nicky Henderson's Santini is ready for King George battle at Kempton

The Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up has been entered into the G1 race on Boxing Day

Liam Headd

Liam Headd


01635 886629

Nicky Henderson's Santini is ready for King George battle at Kempton

Pic: Francesca Altoft

SEVEN Barrows trainer Nicky Henderson has confirmed that Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Santini will run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Santini is up against two-time winner Clan Des Obeaux and three other Paul Nicholls runners in Cyrname, Real Steel and Frodon.

Henderson said he felt it was worth paying the £5,000 supplementary fee.

Henderson said: “When you are in lockdown Tier 4, you haven’t got a lot to do on a Sunday afternoon and I had a bright idea about what to do with Santini.

“We didn’t put him in originally because I’m the first to admit we don’t think Kempton will be his ideal track – but he’s very well in himself, and there’s nothing else to do.”

Other entries in the King George, which offers £113,000 to the winner, include Black Op and the Harry Whittington-trained Saint Calvados.

Saint Calvados hasn’t run since finishing second to Min in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

It’s set out to be another big weekend for Henderson and the team at Seven Barrows as stars such as Altior, Epatante and Shishkin are all due to run.

Epatante, who is heading for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, is targeting success in the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

After missing the Betfair Tingle Creek earlier this month, Altior is expected to line-up in the Desert Orchid Chase on Sunday, while Shishkin has been targeted for the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase.

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