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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Finian's to swerve KemptonHeadlines
Finian's Rainbow

Finian's Rainbow is to swerve the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day because of the soft ground.

Nicky Henderson will be represented by Long Run and Riverside Theatre in the Grade One showpiece, with the Queen Mother Champion Chase hero giving it a miss.

"After long deliberations and long thoughts I think Finian's Rainbow is going to stay at home," Henderson told At The Races from Ascot.

"He told us here at the last meeting that ground wasn't his type and I always thought that was the case with him. It's sad because when he won at Aintree last year we felt the King George was his sort of race.

"We were dying to up him to three miles and still will, just not in this ground. I've spoken to Barney (Clifford, clerk of the course at Kempton) this morning and to Michael Buckley (owner).

"It's not going to tell us anything except probably disappoint us and put us back into a quandary. Therefore the team is from three to two - Long Run and Riverside Theatre will both run."

David Bridgwater could turn to Tony McCoy for his King George hope The Giant Bolster.

Runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the seven-year-old made a satisfactory return to action when third to Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.

He was ridden on Merseyside by Tom Scudamore, who has been on board for eight of the gelding's last nine starts, but the jockey would be required to ride Grands Crus for David Pipe should he take his chance.

Bridgwater said: "He's Tom's ride, but if Grands Crus runs he has to ride that, end of story. It's all up in the air, but I've been talking to (agent) Dave Roberts over the possibility of AP McCoy being free."

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