Nicky Henderson has labelled Gold Cup hero Minella Indo (3/1) and last year’s winner Frodon (6/1) as the two to watch in this year’s King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

The traditional festive racing showpiece is set to get underway at 15:05 on Sunday with a competitive field of nine named for the eagerly-anticipated contest.

Henderson has won the Christmas spectacle three times and has interest again in the race this year, with Chantry House and Mister Fisher (33/1) set to run.

Chantry House (9/2), in particular, has big claims after eye-catching wins at Cheltenham and Aintree already this year, but Henderson has warned Henry De Bromhead’s Minella Indo, who is after a Gold-Cup-King George double, and Paul Nicholls’ Frodon will be hard to beat.

“I’ve got serious respect for all of them, but I still think the Gold Cup is rather like they say the Guineas is nearly always the best guide to the Derby,” Henderson said.

“I think the Gold Cup winner is the horse we have to watch and we all know Frodon is a tough old devil, he’s very hard to beat. It’s a great race on paper.”

Frodon, who was a 20/1 King George winner 12 months ago, and Clan Des Obeaux (3/1), who has won it twice previously, are Nicholls’ main contenders as the trainer goes in search of a 13th success in the big race, while he also has Saint Calvados (22/1) running, who was fourth last year.

Willie Mullins has two Irish contenders in Asterion Forlonge (13/2) and Tornado Flyer (22/1), while Lostintranslation (14/1), who has been pulled up in the last two runnings of the King George, has survived the final declarations stage and gets another chance at Kempton but Dashel Drasher will not feature.

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