Gerri Colombe still on course for King George

Gerri Colombe appears increasingly likely to travel across the Irish Sea over the festive period to contest the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

So impressive when scoring at Aintree in the spring, Gordon Elliott’s charge made a successful reappearance with a last-gasp win in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal last month.

The leading Cheltenham Gold Cup contender has the option of remaining on home soil for the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on December 28, but Elliott is currently favouring the trip to Sunbury.

“He’s going to work Friday morning and if everything is okay, he’s going to go to Kempton,” the trainer said at Punchestown on Tuesday.

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Gerri Colombe is the 11-4 second-favourite for the King George with the sponsors, who make last year’s winner Bravemansgame their 2-1 market leader despite suffering back-to-back defeats so far this season.

The Willie Mullins-trained Allaho is next on the list at 11-2, with Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin a 6-1 shot to claim victory on what will effectively be his seasonal debut, having refused to start at Ascot last month before subsequently missing potential outings at Newcastle and Sandown.

Royale Pagaille, who beat Bravemansgame in last month’s Betfair Chase at Haydock for Venetia Williams, is also a single-figure price at 8-1, as is Patrick Neville’s stable star The Real Whacker.

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