Nigel Twiston-Davies relishing in role of party pooper with Bristol De Mai ahead of Boxing Day bonanza in King George

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NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES is loving the position of underdog as he prepares Bristol De Mai for the 32Purple King George.

Regardless of handing out a beating to 4 of at the moment’s Kempton rivals when touchdown his second Betfair Chase at Haydock final month his steady star remains to be solely 6-1 joint-fourth favorite with William Hill for Kempton’s annual Christmas cracker.

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That fits his coach simply effective.

Twiston-Davies stated: “I’m rather more comfy that means – I adore it. Once we received the Gold Cup with Imperial Commander nobody fancied us, once we received the Betfair Chase nobody fancied us and nobody fancies us this time. It’s nice.”

Final 12 months Bristol De Mai trailed in a well-beaten sixth within the King George when his normally sound leaping let him down. He was subsequently discovered to be affected by abdomen ulcers and Twiston-Davies revealed his preparation has been a lot smoother this time.

He stated: “He’s had a really clear run this season – he’s been scoped for ulcers, scoped for every thing – all’s effective. He appears very good – in actually good nick.

“It’s another bonus he’s only had one race this season and I think that’s a huge bonus. He’s a year older and we’re hoping he’ll take his races better.

“He’s a very easy horse to get fit so he was probably fitter than most of them at Haydock. That might put the others back in the race again.

“Hopefully we’ve got enough to beat them all.”

Paul Nicholls is going for an astonishing tenth win in the £250,000 Grade 1 contest. Five of his nine victories were down to peerless Kauto Star and he can see the similarities between the dual Gold Cup hero and his main hope Politologue.

Nicholls said: “He’s not unlike Kauto Star in that he’s quite versatile, he jumps well and he’s won over 2m and 2m4f.

“It’s always going to be open to question whether he gets 3m as he not run over it yet but everything suggests that he’ll get it. He’s bred to stay – I don’t see it being a problem.

“He likes going right-handed and he likes flat tracks – he’s got a lot in his favour.

“I wouldn’t rule out Clan Des Obeaux, either. He’s a young horse who could improve but I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more rain for him.

 Politologue has been well-backed in the run up to the race

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Politologue has been well-backed in the run up to the race

“I’d love to win it again. To win it ten times would be awesome.

“It’ll be a tough race to win as it always is but I’ve got two live chances and one of those is a very live chance.”

Double Shuffle is one of the outsiders but long odds didn’t stop him chasing home Might Bite when an unconsidered 50-1 shot 12 months ago.

He warmed up for a second crack at the King George when runner-up behind Definitly Red at Aintree.

Trainer Tom George said: “He’s as good as I could ever have him – probably better than last year.

“He’s a more mature, grown-up horse.

“The ground was too soft for him at Aintree a couple of weeks ago but it was a nice day out for him. It’s just put him right.

“He loves Kempton – that’s the whole key to him.”

The Cotswolds trainer is also gunning for the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase with The Worlds End less than two weeks after an impressive Cheltenham success.

He takes on a quality field including Santini, Bags Groove, Topofthegame and La Bague Au Roi.

George revealed: “Having said I wouldn’t entertain it I’ve had a bit of a rethink.

“He’s come out of Cheltenham unbelievably well and there isn’t really another race for him until the Reynoldstown at Ascot in February when we could be up to our knees in mud.

“He just needs a bit more practice.”

Former jockey and racing broadcaster Mick Fitzgerald gives Q+A

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