Santini For The King George

Season’s greetings.

This year’s King George delivers a story, as it almost always does. Can Lostintranslation come back to what he promised to be, and in the process bring light into the lives of the Tizzard family. Colin’s daughter, Joe’s sister, Kim Gingell died in May of cancer. She was 43, a mother to Freddie, married to Dave, and very much the ‘right-hand-woman’ in the training setup.

When trainer Malcolm Jefferson died two years ago, he was survived by wife Sue and the couple’s four children Clare, Rachel, Jo and Ruth. He also left behind what looked like being perhaps the best horse he’d ever had in Waiting Patiently. Ruth took over from her dad and a few weeks later took Waiting Patiently to Ascot to win a Grade 1 at Ascot. Sadly, he has not won again since.

Sam Twiston Davies lost his job as stable jockey to Paul Nicholls when the trainer chose between Harry Cobden and Sam. Nicholls hand was forced by the pursuit of Cobden as stable jockey by the Tizzards. Now Sam attempts to win his second King George in a row on the yard’s Clan Des Obeaux, rejected by Cobden in favour of Cyrname.

Cobden stays with Cyrname in the hope he has now settled enough to eke out his stamina and improve on his disappointing run last year.

Nicholls, also runs the wee ball of jumping fire Frodon. With Bryony Frost aboard, Frodon is the perfect example of the beauty and effectiveness of a staying chaser leading the field, galloping and jumping in perfect rhythm. He’s been tested at this level often enough, with little success. But, never say never.

The one with the shortest backstory is the horse I think will win. This will be just the 5th open race Santini has contested. On his third open outing he was beaten a neck in the Gold Cup. Just before that he’d beaten Bristol De Mai most impressively at Cheltenham.

His flaw, for now, seems to be on his first run of a new season. Last year he barely got home at 1/3 in a small race at Sandown. This year he was beaten at Aintree by handicapper Lake View Lad, though it was a much hotter race than the Sandown one. On his second race last season he improved 17lbs over the first one. If he finds something close to the same improvement today, he will win. If he finds just half that improvement he will go very close indeed. And that is just on what he has done so far.

Where Santini holds the ace card is that he appears to have considerably more potential than the others who, for the most part are now hardened battlers in this open company at Grade 1 level. And, his trainer Henderson supplemented Santini, paying £5,000 to put him in the race late. Reportedly, this was inspired by Santini doing a sparkling piece of work at home.

I think he can win this, though I wouldn’t have a big bet on him, especially as my own King George record would make a three act drama in its own right. I might tell you about it sometime.

Have a good day. Enjoy the racing. Go easy with your stakes.

All the best.

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