Amongst a cast of stars Crockford believes that Henderson’s second string Riverside Theatre will take centre stage in the King George
Having finished second to Long Run in 2010 Henderson’s Riverside Theatre looks well placed to go one better today. Long Run ran well in his seasonal reappearance with The Giant Bolster finishing behind him that day and looks set for a big run. Grands Crus has had an operation since his seasonal debut at Cheltenham but we will only see if it has had its desired effect once he starts to run. Cue Card and Kauto Stone come to the race with big reputations that are yet to be tested this season. With these doubts the certainty that Riverside Theatre presents is an attractive option, especially when Henderson says he will love conditions, the course, runs well fresh and has been aimed at this race.
Crockford reviews the chances of each of the runners:
Captain Chris – Bounced back to near his best on his last start beating decent rivals in a small contest at Ascot. He has good form in the book and will have no problems in staying home in these conditions with the track in his favour. Third last year and definite place claims this year.
Champion Court – Slightly dissapointing when not winning at Ascot first time out. He may come on from that run but should be outclassed today.
Cue Card – Destroyed his rivals in the Haldon Cup and the horse to come closest to the awesome Sprinter Sacre over fences. If the Tizzards have got him to settle and jump well he could be anything. Crockford thinks he may still be below this class.
Grands Crus – Back from his operation after pulling up at Cheltenham everything will rest on his recovery. Brilliant last year in the Feltham he could take all the beating. However, it is a big risk and even at his best some of these may have his measure.
Junior – Supplemented at a late stage this dour stayer will surely be outclassed even given the testing ground conditions.
Kauto Stone – Has Grade One form in the book, but has not yet fully proved his reputation. Nicholls certainly thinks that there is more to come from him. However, he should find some of these still too good for him.
Long Run – Imperious Gold Cup and King George winner – will he be back to his best? His return run in the Betfair Chase at Haydock was not discouraging and he will come on from that. Battle in the conditions he will but his stablemate may have his measure.
Riverside Theatre – Loves the course and runs well fresh. This classy Ryanair winner has been lay out for the race and will enjoy the conditions at Kempton. Henderson has high hopes for him.
The Giant Bolster – David Bridgwater told Morning Line viewers that this race is between his horse and Long Run. Whispers were abound earlier this season that “it was all about this year” with this horse. Placed in the Gold Cup ground conditions may suit him but the speed at which fences will be tackled may find him out. AP McCoy booked will help his cause.
1 Riverside Theatre
2 Long Run
3 Captain Chris
(Featured Photograph – Grands Crus before the start at Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)