Shock in the King George VI Chase as Tornado Flyer makes history at Kempton

Tornado Flyer became the biggest-priced winner in the history of the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase after storming to victory in the Grade One at Kempton.

It is 20 years since Florida Pearl got the better of triple Gold Cup winner Best Mate to give Ireland's perennial champion trainer his only previous success in the Kempton Park showpiece.

Two decades on, Mullins fired a twin assault, with Asterion Forlonge very much the stable's chief hope having looked the most likely winner of the John Durkan at Punchestown before unseating Bryan Cooper three from home.

Tornado Flyer was only fifth in the same Grade One and he was 28/1 to strike Boxing Day gold in the hands of the trainer's nephew, Danny Mullins.

With last year's winner Frodon adopting his customary pacesetting role from flag-fall, Mullins played a waiting game for much of the three-mile contest before moving into the slipstream of the leaders.

Jockey Danny Mullins celebrates after ridding Tornado Flyer to victory in the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase during King George VI Chase day

Tornado Flyer took over before two out and with Asterion Forlonge coming down again at the last when seemingly booked for second, he passed the post with nine lengths in hand over dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux.

Mullins senior stayed at home to saddle a strong team at Leopardstown, where he enjoyed three winners.

He said: "I was totally surprised. John Turner, who has a share in the horse, was on to me to bring him over as he said he'd like a runner on Boxing Day in Kempton and I said 'why not?'.

"John couldn't even go into the racecourse and had to watch from the last furlong in the car park because he had his elderly parents and was afraid to bring them into the crowd with covid. It's a fantastic day for him.

"I thought we'd be lucky if he could run into the places and that was the instructions I gave Danny - to ride from the back and get all the prize-money you can.

"Danny was very cute on him. Every time I looked at Danny I was very happy with where he was and he was getting him to jump. You could see from five or six out that he was going to run a big race."

Tornado Flyer's odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup were unsurprisingly slashed, with Paddy Power offering 14/1 for the blue riband.

Mullins is keeping his fingers crossed his upward trajectory continues in the new year, adding: "My memory of him is that he disimproves from his first run every year. We changed a few things with him this year and he seems to be improving.

"He always promised, but never delivered in the second half of the season. Maybe he's going to this time.

"John Turner is in charge of plans after getting me to bring him over, but I imagine he'll be entered in all those Grade One races. Maybe he's just better going right-handed, I don't know."

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