Punters who stepped in to back the talented Wishfull Thinking ahead of an anticipated run in the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day will be a little uneasy at reports that trainer Philip Hobbs is now seriously considering dropping him back in trip to two-miles for a crack at the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 3, writes Elliot Slater.
Prior to his seasonal reappearance effort where he led for a long way before fading in the last three furlongs of the two-and-a-half-miles Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham it seemed certain that Wishfull Thinking would be campaigned at that trip and beyond this term, with the ‘King George’ a logical target for a horse currently rated 164 and appearing to be improving all the time. Those looking at the best online Kempton betting should remember this.
Hobbs however has been having second thoughts about which way he should go with the Alfora gelding and having seem him show such pace for the first two miles at Cheltenham is very tempted to drop him back to the minimum trip for the Tingle Creek Chase against the best performers at that distances before deciding on his best trip for the rest of the campaign.
If Hobbs is indeed in two minds about which way to jump with Wishfull Thinking he will doubtless be weighing up the fact that Kempton’s three-mile track is regarded as one of the ‘easiest’ in the country, and on decent ground there would appear to be every chance that his horse will stay, especially as he trainer observed that last season’s Aintree and Punchestown winner would come on for his initial outing of the term and might have had a slight breathing problem in the closing stages at Cheltenham.
Currently on offer at a best price of 16/1 for the Christmas showpiece, those that have already taken a price will face an anxious wait before finding out if Wishfull Thinking will or won’t take his chance at Kempton.