The trainer Tom George has said that he may let Double Shuffle enter the King George VI Chase if the ground is favourable at Kempton on Boxing Day.
George was delighted with the seven-year-old’s finish second to Top Notch in the Christy 1965 Chase over an inadequate trip at Ascot last Saturday. It was the first time that the ground conditions had been suitable since Double Shuffle finished second on his seasonal debut at Chepstow in October.
George then withdrew the horse from Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase and the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton as the ground was too soft.
Speaking recently George said, “He’s rated in the 150s now. He had to step up in grade and put up a proper showing. He prefers three miles more than two-miles-five. It would have been sharp enough for him but he still put in a big performance. He needs good ground which is why we kept pulling him out and I’m sure there’s a good day ahead of him.”
The trainer said that the King George is a “shot in the dark” but added that the horse loves the track and that if the ground is good then he “wouldn’t rule him out”.
“If the ground went his way, it might not be to the advantage of some of the others. He is improving.”
George said that he might also give Sir Valentino a run in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown next Saturday after his win at Ascot.
“He’ll probably get an entry in the Tingle Creek. We’ll see what the ground looks like and see who shows up, otherwise there’s the race at Kempton (Desert Orchid Chase) he was second to Special Tiara last season. He’s gone up in the handicap to 162 (up 3lb). He deserves to be that.”