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Kauto and Long Run primed to renew war in King George

KAUTO STAR and Long Run feature among just eight confirmations for the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

The quality could hardly be higher for the Festive highlight as Kauto Star goes for a remarkable fifth victory in the race.

Last year's winner, Long Run, trained by Nicky Henderson, bids to reverse placings with Kauto Star from last month's Betfair Chase at Haydock.

Kauto Star's owner Clive Smith and trainer Paul Nicholls have a second major candidate in Master Minded, with the dual Champion Chase winner stepping up to three miles for the first time in his career. Henrietta Knight is set to saddle her stable star Somersby, with Diamond Harry representing Nick Williams.

Philip Hobbs' Arkle winner Captain Chris, Nacarat and Golan Way complete the stellar line-up.

Tom Dascombe has confirmed Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has bought two horses to race next year, one of which is called Tomway. Dascombe's yard has been financed by Rooney's United team-mate Michael Owen, who enjoyed terrific success this year with stable star Brown Panther.

Dascombe said: "We are obviously delighted to formally announce that Wayne and Coleen Rooney will have two horses in training with us next season.

"Wayne and Coleen's two horses are a two-year-old colt called Tomway and a yearling colt by Bahamian Bounty out of Amazon Beauty, yet to be named. Wayne's colours are pink and white."

This season's renewal of the AON Chase at Newbury is to be named after recently retired National Hunt great Denman.

The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner won at Newbury on five occasions, including a victory in the AON Chase of the same year and two Hennessy Gold Cup successes. The Betfair Denman Chase will be run in Berkshire on February 11.

Trainer and former jockey Elliot Cooper has been disqualified from racing for 12 months following a BHA investigation into corruption.

Cooper, who became Britain's youngest trainer when taking a licence in 2009, was found in breach of the old Rule 243 -- communicating inside information for reward -- and Rule 220(i) -- aiding and abetting the commission of a corrupt and fraudulent practice.

Arkle favourite Peddlers Cross is set to put his unbeaten record over fences on the line in the williamhill.com Novices' Chase at Kempton on December 27.

McCain's Overturn is likely to be in action over the Festive period after he was entered into the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.