Kauto heads star line-up at Down Royal
A field of seven chasers are set to line-up for tomorrow’s JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal – including the dual Gold Cup winner Kauto Star, last season’s Arkle winner Sizing Europe, and the hat-trick seeking China Rock.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star, who won the race back in 2008, is the 8-15 favourite with bookmakers William Hill who also make the ten-year-old a 7-4 shot to win his fifth straight William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton next month.
The favourite’s biggest challenge could come from last season’s Irish Independent Arkle winner Sizing Europe. The 7-2 second favourite is being stepped up in trip for the second consecutive time – and his trainer Henry De Bromhead is hopeful his eight-year-old will see out the three miles.
China Rock, who got better of Sizing Europe at Punchestown last time out, is rated a 6-1 chance to complete a hat-trick of successes under rules.
Coolcashin, Killyglen, Mossbank and Trafford Lad, complete the line-up.
"Kauto is the star attraction at Down Royal, and it would be a big surprise if he didn’t oblige in the Champion Chase," said William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny. "Sizing Europe is the obvious danger, but there still remains a question mark about his ability to see out a three-mile trip."
JNwine.com Champion Chase (William Hill bet): 8-15 Kauto Star, 7-2 Sizing Europe, 6-1 China Rock, 16-1 Killyglen, 20-1 Trafford Lad, 25-1 Coolcashin, 33-1 Mossbank – (EW ¼ 1-2)
William Hill King George VI Chase: 7-4 Kauto Star, 5-1 Long Run, 8-1 Imperial Commander, 10-1 What A Friend, 12-1 Planet of Sound, Somersby, 14-1 Poquelin, Punchestowns, 16-1 Albertas Run, Cooldine, Forpadydeplasterer, Neptune Collonges, 20-1 Burton Port, Joncol, Weird Al, 25-1 Pandorama, Riverside Theatre, 33-1 J'y Vole, The Nightingale (EW ¼ 1,2,3)