Notes on the King George

A note on yesterday from a betting viewpoint: many tipsters disregarded Clan Des Obeaux, I was one of the guilty. It seems to me far too many are now trying to justify that pre-race judgement by putting the result down as something of a fluke. I’ve read a number of ‘race fell apart’ comments. Such post-race excuses can prove very costly.

That was a stunning performance by Clan Des Obeaux, a 6-y-o, who is obviously improving at a rate of knots and if that improvement continues – and it should – he will win the Gold Cup barring accidents.

He travelled best of all through the race yesterday and if he hadn’t winged the last might well have won on the bridle, so badly did he idle in front. I cannot see any way that those behind can turn that form around in the Gold Cup or anything else. 

One of the clues to his improvement might be his step up in trip. He’s been campaigned around 20 furlongs until April at Aintree when he put up his joint-best Racing Post Rating over 3m1f. Over half a furlong farther in the Betfair on seasonal debut he improved that rating by 3lbs. Yesterday he improved on that by 9lbs to 176. 

Native River ran to 178 when winning this year’s Gold Cup, and Clan Des Obeaux has bags more to come. Hills were the only one who got it right in immediate post-race Gold Cup quotes yesterday (a market which requires on the spot reaction from traders, many of whom get it badly wrong) going 5/1. Betvictor were crazy in offering 16s, then 12s, now 10s, which is still twice what it should be. 

Presenting Percy is a year older than Clan Des Obeaux and has only once shown form just within half a stone of the King George winner, and he’s yet to be seen on track this season.

I believe Mister Nicholls has another superstar on his hands, for this season, at least (horses showing such huge and rapid improvement sometimes enjoy just one season in the sun, though I very much hope that’s not that case for this fine young horse).

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