Kauto the star turn in King George

Kauto Star will face 12 rivals as he bids to become the first horse to win the William Hill King George VI Chase for four consecutive years.

Kauto Star will face 12 rivals as he bids to become the first horse to win the William Hill King George VI Chase for four consecutive years.

Only Desert Orchid managed to land Kempton’s St Stephen's Day feature on four different occasions, but even he let the crown slip in the interim as Nupsala dethroned the brilliant grey in 1987.

Kauto Star’s chief rival would appear to be the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Imperial Commander, who was just a nose away when Paul Nicholls’ nine-year-old landed his third Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.

Twiston-Davies has two strings to his bow, having also declared Ollie Magern - although the 11-year-old is also engaged in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on the same day.

David Pipe is also double-handed with Madison Du Berlais and Our Vic, with the latter doubly declared at Wincanton on Boxing Day.

Last year’s runner-up Albertas Run again takes his chance, while Tom George runs Nacarat and Tartak.

The Queen-owned Barbers Shop will be saddled by Nicky Henderson, with Peterborough Chase winner Deep Purple an interesting contender for Evan Williams.

Master Medic, Racing Demon and Sandymac, who also holds an entry at Huntingdon on the same day, complete the final field.

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