Updated: Thursday, 26 December 2013 12:17 | By Agence France-Presse

Dynaste aims to fulfil Pipe's King George dream

The Pipe stable has hoovered up Grand Nationals, Gold Cups and Champion Hurdles, yet the King George VI Chase has proved frustratingly elusive for the all-conquering yard.


Dynaste aims to fulfil Pipe's King George dream

Dynaste ridden by Tom Scudamore wins the John Smiths Mildmay Novices Steeple Chase at the Grand National racing event at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, on April 5, 2013

Dynaste could well put that anomaly right on Thursday when the talented French import lines up against eight rivals in the traditional Boxing Day showpiece.

Martin Pipe, 15 times champion trainer, revolutionised the complex art of training jump horses and on his retirement his racing empire passed into the capable hands of his son David.

The Pipes have come close before in the mid-season highlight -- notably with Challenger Du Luc in 1997 and Madison du Berlais in 2009.

And this season hopes have grown at Pond House on the border of Devon and Somerset that the grey Dynaste can finally crack the King George riddle.

The upwardly mobile seven-year-old vies for favouritism in the ante-post betting after an eye catching seasonal reappearance in Haydock's Betfair Chase last month.

Challenging for the lead two fences from home Dynaste, under Tom Scudamore, was eventually held on the run in by Cue Card, who had the advantage of a previous run.

Pipe junior is optimistic that Dynaste can make up the near five length deficit with Cue Card come Thursday at a track where he landed a Grade 1 novice chase on the same card last year.

“I only wish the race was tomorrow,” Dynaste's handler told The Daily Telegraph last Saturday.

Cue Card proved a popular winner of the Betfair for his trainer-jockey combination of Colin Tizzard and his son Joe.

An enthusiastic jumper Cue Card dispelled any stamina fears with a comprehensive win in the Betfair dispelling doubts over his ability to see out a three mile trip raised by his performance in last year's King George.

There he made mistakes, weakening to finish a tired horse, beaten over 20 lengths by Long Run.

Twelve months on he merits renewed respect and heads the ante-post betting, although on the flip side his yard has been hit by a virus and has sent out only one winner from 19 runners in December.

Tizzard senior though is upbeat, reporting of his stable star: "He's done all his fast work. He seems in very, very good form and, if there was any more rain, I wouldn't be worried at all.

"I'm not concerned about his stamina. I think we put that to bed the last time."

Last year's runner-up, Captain Chris, was all set to try and go one better but he was pulled out of the race on Monday after picking up a minor injury in a schooling session.

Paul Nicholls is represented by Silviniaco Conti, who may improve on his third in the Betfair, and Al Ferof, who advertised his claims with a battling win up at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase in November.

The eight-year-old has had one outing since, seeing off his only rival French Opera in a Grade Two chase at Ascot.

With last year's winner Long Run, who wears a visor for the first time to help his concentration, failing to impress when a lacklustre fourth behind Cue Card at Haydock trainer Nicky Henderson could have a stronger candidate in the blinkered Riverside Theatre.

On the scoresheet at last year's Cheltenham Festival the mount of Barry Geraghty warmed up with success in a high grade chase at Huntingdon a fortnight ago.

The horse he beat there, Champion Court, Menorah, and Mount Benbulben complete the nine-runner field.

Despite the pre-Christmas storms battering Britain Kempton's clerk of the course Barney Clifford predicts the going for the King George will be no worse than soft.

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