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Voy's ready to pour on power; King confident of halting Kauto Star.

Byline: by MIKE TORPEY Racing Editor

TRAINER Alan King is geared up to break the hearts of the title-chasing Paul Nicholls team in the Stan James King George VI Chase this week.

The Marlborough handler saddles the classy Voy Por Ustedes and is upbeat about both the chaser's condition and his chance of beating the favourite.

Kauto Star, winner of the Christmas cracker for the past two years, will be a tough nut to crack but KIng is relishing the Boxing Day challenge.

Voy Por Ustedes, the 2007 Queen Mother Champion Chase hero, is stepping up to three miles for the first time.

And owner Sir Robert Ogden's racing manager Barry Simpson echoed the feelings of the King team saying: "He's in great shape. He's done plenty of schooling, a couple of serious pieces of work, so he's bang on course andwe are looking forward to it.

"Alan's been very upbeat since the horse ran at Aintree and we couldn't be more delighted."

Ogden also has Exotic Dancer in the Kempton showpiece, but the Jonjo O'Neill-trained gelding holds an alternative entry in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.

"I have said all along it wasn't the intention for them to run against one other and that is still my thought but I don't want to mislead people and say there is no chance he will run.

"I'm not going to say it won't happen. It is still a possible but at this moment I favour Voy Por in the King George and Exotic Dancer in the Lexus.

"They are two good horses, there are other good horses in the King George. If it was the Gold Cup it wouldn't be an issue but there is an alternative for Exotic Dancer and we might just take that route."

Simpson explained that the logistics of getting to Ireland had to be considered.

"Final declaration day for the King George is Tuesday and Exotic Dancer would have to travel that day if he's going to Ireland."

Voy Por Ustedes is 7-2 second favourite with the sponsors for the King George. Exotic Dancer is 20-1 for that race and is a general 5-1 chance for the Lexus Chase.

Latest betting: 6-4 Kauto Star, 7-2 Voy Por Ustedes, 7-1 Imperial Commander, 10-1 Our Vic, Air Force One, 14-1 Tamarinbleu, 16-1 War Of Attrition, 20-1 Exotic Dancer, Snoopy Loopy, 40-1 Briareus, 66-1 Albertas Run, 500-1 Mont Misere.

CAPTION(S):

STAR TURN: Voy Por Ustedes and Robert Thornton win the John Smiths Melling Chase during the Grand National Meeting at Aintree
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2008
Words:425
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