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Walsh has Kempton Fever

Ruby Walsh is hoping the step up to three miles will suit Champagne Fever and that the Willie Mullins-trained grey will be on his best form in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on December 26.

The three-times Grade One scorer has impressed since thoughts turned to chasing but he has yet to compete over the King George distance.

"I think he will be suited by the step up in trip, but he is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde," the Irish jockey told Racing UK.

"He's never won at Christmas. He was beaten in a bumper when we thought that was impossible and then he made a mistake at the second-last in a novice chase at Leopardstown and got run over by Defy Logic.

"Champagne Fever on a good day is a very good horse, but he's had a few off-days when he hasn't been so good.

"You are guessing, and you hope, that the step up will suit him. I think it will, but you can't say for certain.

"It's a very good race. You've got Silviniaco Conti, Cue Card and Menorah.

"It's the King George and will be run at a really good gallop. It will be intense all the way.

"There will be pressure on everyone's jumping and I'm hoping to settle him."


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