I’ve been speaking to Paddy this week – and he had the cheek to tell me this was my first Christmas off. What about the ones where I was injured? Or the ones before I was a jockey?! I was a kid once, you know.
So let’s look at the King George, where pace is key. Pacey horses tend to win moreso than sluggers. You would see plenty of horses who can win King Georges but may not get home in a Gold Cup. Kauto Star managed to do it, Best Mate managed to do it, so did See More Business. Great horses can do both, but a lot of horses can excel at Kempton and struggle at Cheltenham. So, pace is a huge thing.
Lostintranslation was done for it in the JLT last year, he was done for it in the Scilly Isles at Sandown as well. He only ended up winning the Dipper because possibly Defi committed going to the last, got a few legs in front, then pulled himself up and allowed Lostintranslation back in.
But when Lostintranslation stepped up to three miles Aintree last year as a novice, he looked a much better horse.
He didn’t quite have the speed to be good enough for two and a half, and he could be vulnerable to a very pacey individual in Cyrname. It’s early doors yet but I can only see there being only six, seven runners in the race. Thistlecrack was second in last year’s race, I don’t know how he’s going to reverse that for Clan Des Obeaux. I think Cyrname, Lost in Translation, Clan Des Obeaux, are three I think that’ll finish in front.
He [Thistlecrack] was a very good horse, but he’s a bit older now, he’s had a few injuries, and I just don’t think that he will be placed in this year’s King George.
They haven’t announced the jockeys yet. Harry Cobden is going to ride whoever he picks and if he doesn’t pick Cyrname he’ll have Sean Bowen on him. If Harry chooses to ride Clan Des Obeaux I would find that interesting. My choice of ride would be Cyrname and he’s my pick for the race too.