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Kempton confident King George VI Chase will go ahead

William Hill King George VI Chase Kempton Date: 26 December, 1505 GMT Coverage: BBC Radio 5 live, Channel 4 Report/results: BBC Sport website

By Frank Keogh

Ruby Walsh on Kauto Star
Kauto Star worked hard for his Haydock victory

Kauto Star's bid for a record fourth straight King George VI Chase win at Kempton on Boxing Day should go ahead despite wintry weather forecasts.

The dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner would beat the record of Desert Orchid if he landed the 2009 race.

And course officials will lay out frost mats to insulate the track against freezing weather conditions.

"I'm very optimistic the King George will go ahead," clerk of the course Brian Clifford told BBC Sport.

The great galloping grey Desert Orchid won the three-mile festive steeplechase four times, but those victories came over a five-year period.

Kauto Star coasted to victory in the Kempton race in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and top Irish jockey Ruby Walsh.

His attempt to win a fourth consecutive running of the race has whetted the appetites of racing fans.

Clifford said the Kempton track was preparing to lay down special frost mats to protect the course, and its flat meeting went ahead as scheduled on Wednesday evening.

He said the five-day forecast indicated snow showers were likely to hit the venue at Sunbury in Surrey, but the track would take all suitable precautions.

"We were raceable on Wednesday despite temperatures dropping to -4C the previous night," he told BBC Sport.

"The King George card has not been called off in my 10 years here, although it was transferred to Sandown in 2005 while the course was redeveloped.

"The frost covers insulate the ground and we have twice managed to have fixtures during my time here despite snowfall, so I'm very optimistic."

Kauto Star won by a nose from Imperial Commander on his seasonal return in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.

The nine-year-old is strong favourite to triumph again at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Kauto Star and stablemate Denman are in line to have a rematch in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, with the pair currently on one victory each in jump racing's blue riband event.

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see also
Kauto destined for Dessie mantle
22 Dec 09 |  Horse Racing
The Kauto Star story
29 Oct 12 |  Horse Racing
Kauto Star secures thrilling win
21 Nov 09 |  Horse Racing
Nicolls expects Kauto Star improvement
21 Nov 09 |  Horse Racing
Historic Gold Cup win for Kauto
13 Mar 09 |  Horse Racing
Master Minded romps to Chase win
11 Mar 09 |  Horse Racing
The magic of Cheltenham
09 Mar 09 |  Horse Racing
Kauto secures King George treble
26 Dec 08 |  Horse Racing
Denman storms to Gold Cup victory
14 Mar 08 |  Horse Racing

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