Tornado Flyer blows away opposition to land King George VI Chase

London (AFP) – Outsider Tornado Flyer gave Irish training great Willie Mullins just his second win in the King George VI chase storming home to take the honours on Sunday at Kempton Park.


Jockey Danny Mullins -- nephew of Willie -- seized the lead after the penultimate fence although his stablemate, the better fancied Asterion Forlonge, came to deliver a challenge.

However, the latter came to grief at the last leaving Tornado Flyer clear to ease home by nine lengths at 28/1 -- collecting the winners cheque of £142,000 ($190,000) in the process -- ahead of two-time King George winner Clan des Obeaux.

His victory in what is considered the second most prestigious steeplechase in England after the Cheltenham Gold Cup comes 20 years after Willie Mullins won with Florida Pearl.

"I didn't think he was totally out of this," said Danny Mullins, who was completing a double on the day.

"It was as competitive a race as has been run all year in England and this lad has always had the promise to deliver something like this.

"I knew we had a squeak and from going away for the second circuit I was starting to come alive and halfway down the back was able to take him back and fill him up.

"Going to the last in front he was idling and I wouldn't have minded Asterion (Forlonge) coming to me as I think I had a little more left.

"But I was happy enough to be left in front too! When you're riding for Willie you've always got a chance -- no matter what price they are."

Clan des Obeaux stablemate Saint Calvados produced a terrific run in his first race for trainer Paul Nicholls to finish third, one better than last year.

Defending champion Frodon -- also trained by Nicholls -- was unable to reproduce his pillar to post victory under Bryony Frost fading as they approached the final turn.

He finished a distant fourth with his lack of bite maybe due to a battle up front at a fierce pace for the first half of the race with Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Minella Indo.

The latter gave way far earlier with Rachael Blackmore and failed to finish.

He was not the only fancied runner to find it all too much with three-time winning trainer Nicky Henderson's race favourite Chantry House being pulled up early on the second circuit.