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Nicholls – Tenth King George ‘Amazing’

Nicholls – Tenth King George ‘Amazing’

Paul Nicholls described his 10th King George VI Chase win as “amazing” after Clan Des Obeaux won an incident-packed renewal at Kempton.

Thistlecrack, the 2016 winner, was on course to roll back the years when he hit the front, but the veteran could not answer the burst of a rival four years his younger after the last.

There was drama at halfway when Bristol De Mai fell at the fence in front of the stands, badly hampering Waiting Patiently, who unseated Brian Hughes.

Jockey Harry Cobden bided his time on the 12/1-shot and had the confidence to take a pull alongside the Colin Tizzard-trained gelding.

A fine leap at the last sealed it as Clan Des Obeaux, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, came home a length and a half up on Thistlecrack – who gamely stuck to his task for Tom Scudamore. “Ten King George wins is amazing,” said Nicholls later.

“For my landlord (Paul Barber), Ged (Mason) and Sir Alex Ferguson it doesn’t get any better. It is absolutely awesome. “It was a very good run at Haydock for the stage of his career and he sort of got forgotten. Some said he was not good enough, but horses progress.

He was like a footballer coming from the Championship going into the Premiership that day. “He got a little bit lost, but he stayed on and it was the basis of a good future and I think there is a lot to come from him. To win races like this means more than anything, I can tell you. He is a proper Gold Cup contender.”

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