Sam Twiston-Davies believes Clan Des Obeaux is the complete package as he goes in search of a third successive victory in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
The famous race is littered with multiple winners down the years – with Kauto Star winning five time, Desert Orchid four, Wayward Lad three and some of National Hunt racing’s other greats claiming two, such as Pendil, Captain Christy, Silver Buck, The Fellow and One Man.
Clan Des Obeaux is therefore looking to enhance his status in an elite club, with trainer Paul Nicholls chasing an incredible 12th win in the Christmas highlight.
According to the bookmakers, his biggest danger is stablemate Cyrname, who was second last year and with stable jockey Harry Cobden once again siding with him, Twiston-Davies keeps the ride on Clan Des Obeaux.
“Before we won last year, I’d watched Clan very closely in the race from the year before and spoke to Harry. We talked about tactics and what might happen,” said Twiston-Davies.
“Harry was brilliant – he told me everything I needed to know about my lad, but he didn’t actually tell me much about Cyrname.
“Clan was fantastic. He jumped, he travelled, and he winged every fence down the back. Then, when I asked him to pick up, he winged the second-last and off he went. The rest is history.”
Before winning his first King George, Clan Des Obeaux had finished fourth in the Betfair Chase at Haydock to Bristol De Mai – but this year he went even closer in second behind the grey, trained by Sam’s father, Nigel.
“I rode him again on his first start of this season at Haydock when it was very soft ground. He jumped beautifully, travelled great and he felt like he was coming there to win the race,” Twiston-Davies told William Hill.
“Something I’d say is that the heavy ground at Haydock suited Bristol De Mai. That race is his Kempton, so I take a lot of positives out of that race for Clan.
“He has his own kind of way of jumping – you leave him to it, and he is very good. He’s very economical, efficient and, at the same time, he has plenty of scope.
“I guess he’s grown up and, physically, he’s probably a little bit stronger this year – hence he can deal with heavy ground better than he used to. You could say he’s more complete now.
“I went to see him in the week and I’m looking forward to Kempton. From a jockey’s point of view, it’s just about trying your best and enjoying it.
“I just hope he can do something similar to last year. That would be nice. Between now and Boxing Day, it’s just a case of holding on tight, that’s the long and short of it!”