Talking Horses: Nicholls title hopes raised by Henderson Kempton doubts

By: Greg Wood Tuesday 20 October 2020

Uncertainty over Champ and Santini in King George VI Chase has reduced the odds on another Nicholls championship win

Sixteen winners and a 39% strike-rate in October have pushed Paul Nicholls to the top of the market for the 2020-21 National Hunt trainers’ championship and his prospects of claiming the King George VI Chase at Kempton for the third year running also improved on Monday, when Nicky Henderson, his perennial rival for the title, suggested that his leading chasers Champ and Santini are far from certain to line up for the Boxing Day race.

The two horses were third and fourth respectively in the ante-post betting on Monday morning at around 8-1, but were pushed out to 12-1 by Paddy Power after Henderson said that both could bypass Kempton on the way to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. Clan Des Obeaux, meanwhile, is 7-2 (from 4-1) to give Nicholls a third successive win in the race while his stable companion Cyrname is 10-1 (from 11-1).

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