Disko to miss King George VI Chase as Meade swerves hot race at Kempton

Disko was ruled out of the 32Red King George VI Chase on Thursday with trainer Noel Meade preferring to let the Gigginstown House Stud-owned grey take his chance against stablemate Road To Respect in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase two days later.

Disko, a dual Grade 1-winning novice chaser, had been well-supported all week for the Kempton prize and was a top-priced 12-1 shot for the race before Meade went public with his decision.

Speaking to the Racing Post, the trainer said: "If Disko runs over Christmas, he'll run in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase."

He added: "He's in very good form and he was away the other day and worked great, so we're happy with him.

"We just decided that the race at Kempton looks very strong and there doesn't seem to be an awful amount of sense in going over there when we can run at home.

"Road To Respect is also in great shape and he's on target for the race at Leopardstown as well."

Meade's decision led bookmakers' to tighten the odds of the market leaders as Bristol De Mai was cut to 100-30 from 9-2 and Whisper 8-1 from 9-1 by Betway in betting. Might Bite is the sponsor's 6-4 favourite.

In Christmas Chase betting, Disko is generally available at 8-1 while Road To Respect is chalked up at odds of 12-1, but if Meade is to add to his three wins in the prize he will need to overcome Gold Cup hero Sizing John, who is now clear favourite over Willie Mullins's Yorkhill.

Aoife Heffron of Boylesports said: "Punters have chosen Sizing John as their favourite after they backed him in from 9-4 joint-favouritism to his current odds of 7-4, making him a large ante-post liability. Yorkhill is a clear second-favourite at odds of 5-2."

Reigning Champion Hurdle hero Buveur D'Air has been installed as the 1-4 favourite by Paddy Power for the 32Red Christmas Hurdle, which drew six names after it was reopened for another 24 hours.

Race regular The New One headed the rest who also include Old Guard, Elgin, Chesterfield and Mohaayed.

Recent Rehearsal Chase winner Beware The Bear, stablemate of Buveur D'Air, heads the sponsor's betting for next week's Coral Welsh Grand National at 7-1 after 33 horses remained at the six day entry stage. Chase The Spud, 8-1 (from 10-1), and Rock The Kasbah, 9-1 (from 10-1), were also cut.

"Although Nicky Henderson doesn't have a great record in any of the leading Nationals, in Beware The Bear he has a contender in great form, although his position at the head of the betting is under threat from both Chase The Spud and Rock The Kasbah," said Coral's David Stevens.