Nicky Henderson says Santini a King George doubt following Sandown win

• Trainer says: ‘He doesn’t look like a King George horse’
• De Boinville hopes Santini is Cheltenham Gold Cup contender

Santini appears unlikely to tackle the King George VI Chase next month following a return to action that, in the understated words of his trainer, Nicky Henderson, “was not Earth-shatteringly impressive”. But hopes are still nursed that this seven-year-old, so striking on looks, can make himself into a contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, despite running about a stone below what might have been expected here.

In fairness, the circumstances of this race did not lend themselves to an awe-inspiring performance. There were only four runners, none of them a natural pace-setter, and all of them returning from a summer’s break on softer ground than their connections were probably hoping to find.

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