Paul Nicholls believes Clan Des Obeaux is ready to bring his A-game to Haydock as he bids to give the trainer a seventh Betfair Chase.
The Ditcheat maestro says the two-time King George VI Chase hero is not warming up for the Christmas cracker on Saturday – he's in it to win it.
Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson co-owns the class act.
"He's a dual King George winner, we have set out to try and win this race not go there as a prep for Kempton," Nicholls said.
"All of our chasers are in really good shape and he's got a big chance on the weekend."
Nicholls' true great Kauto Star took the first Grade 1 of the season on four occasions, while Silviniaco Conti sent the trophy back to the Somerset stable twice.
Both also excelled at Kempton, where Clan Des Obeaux gained a memorable first King George success in 2018.
A well-beaten fourth in the Betfair Chase on his outing prior, Nicholls warned he will be a different proposition this time around.
"He had an away day with Politologue and he looks great, he's very fit whereas two years ago we just went there thinking and hoping he might be good enough to compete in Grade 1 company," Nicholls added.
"And he ran very well, but I'd say we have got him in really good shape this time.
"There's no point going into this race thinking he's going to need the run and he'll improve to Kempton.
"He's ready – no excuses fitness wise as far as I can tell."
The 3-1 shot with Betfair will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, as they clash with the 3m 1f race's two previous winners, Bristol De Mai (2017, 2018) and Lostintranslation (2019).
Nicholls reported he "schooled very nicely" for him on Monday morning – and Twiston-Davies is set to keep the ride at Kempton.
Harry Cobden, at Ascot on Saturday to team up with 2020 Cheltenham Gold Cup sixth Real Steel and talented mare Laurina, will be aboard Cyrname in the Boxing Day highlight.
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr said: “It’s shaping up to be a cracking 16th renewal of the iconic race.
"Lostintranslation and Bristol de Mai couldn’t be separated in the market last year but this time around the 2019 winner is clear favourite at 5-4 while the two times winner, Bristol de Mai, is 7-4.
"Dual King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux, is sure to have plenty of backers with his trainer Paul Nicholls sounding very positive about his chances and looks a bit of value at 3-1."
Betfair Chase – sponsor's betting: 5-4 Lostintranslation, 7-4 Bristol de Mai, 3-1 Clan des Obeaux, 25-1 Bellshill, 33-1 Keeper Hill
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