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Ruby Walsh's King George VI Chase tips - The jockey's verdict on Thistlecrack v Cue Card

Ruby Walsh.

Ruby Walsh is looking forward to a hectic Christmas period and the jockey has his verdict on Thistlecrack and Cue Card's sensational showdown at Kempton.


In what looks set to be the showdown of the season, both of Colin Tizzard's stars are being well backed for the contest and Walsh has given the Paddy Power blog his verdict on the Grade One.

Speaking to Paddy Power, he said" "This is the smallest field I can remember for a King George VI Chase in a long time – and it can play into Thistlecrack’s hands. Last year’s World Hurdle winner is looking to become the first novice to win this contest and with so few runners, it should make his life that little bit easier.

"He is relatively inexperienced with just three runs – but three wins – over fences. However, he’ll get a clear sight at the Kempton fences against so few runners – rather than having eight or 10 rivals to contend with at every obstacle.

"Don’t get me wrong, winning a King George VI Chase will be no gimme and he’ll have to be on his game to beat tried-and-tested stablemate, and reigning King George VI Chase champ, Cue Card to do it.

"However, Thistlecrack can overcome his inexperience and the small field may be more of an advantage to Tom Scudamore this time, than Cue Card’s battle-hardened experience is to Paddy Brennan.

"Cue Card is probably 20lbs better than any other horse Thistlecrack has faced – even when he was destroying the opposition last year over hurdles before running away with the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

"Those rivals were rated in the 150s or so, but Cue Card has beaten horses rated in the high 160’s or early 170’s all the time.

"It’s a big step up for Thistlecrack – the likely tempo of the race and the quality of this King George field is his biggest test yet over fences.

"But I think he’ll prove up to it and if I had the choice I’d ride Thistlecrack in the Boxing Day feature."


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Ruby Walsh's King George VI Chase tips - The jockey's verdict on Thistlecrack v Cue Card

Ruby Walsh is looking forward to a hectic Christmas period and the jockey has his verdict on Thistlecrack and Cue Card's sensational showdown at Kempton.

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