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Gold Cup runner-up set for King George Chase at Kempton

Henderson confirms Santini is joining Kempton’s racing ‘party’.

Nicky Henderson at his yard with Santini.
Nicky Henderson at his yard with Santini.
Image: Bradley Collyer

SANTINI HAS BEEN supplemented for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen’s Day.

Nicky Henderson’s charge was beaten just a neck by Al Boum Photo in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup and returned to action with second place in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree this month, finishing a length behind Lake View Lad after a prolonged run to the line with the last two fences omitted.

The eight-year-old is expected to head back to Cheltenham next month to defend his Cotswold Chase crown, but Henderson felt it was worth stumping up £5,000 to add him to the Kempton field because the Milan gelding is in fine form at home.

Henderson said: “When you are in lockdown Tier 4, you haven’t got a lot to do on a Sunday afternoon (and) I had a bright idea about what to do with Santini.

“The Cotswold Chase is still five or six weeks away, so we supplemented him this morning for the King George party.

“We discussed it last night. We’ve been through everything this morning, and he’s so well in himself and passed all his medical checks.

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“We didn’t put him in originally because I’m the first to admit we don’t think Kempton will be his ideal track – but he’s very well in himself, and there’s nothing else to do.

“He may as well gallop round Kempton rather than gallop around here for five weeks.”

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