Sceau Royal (centre): likely to go for the Elite Hurdle next
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
SCEAU ROYAL produced a performance that prompted the mind to wander to the Cheltenham Festival as his win in the 2m½f hurdle earned him a quote of 20-1 with Paddy Power for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, while BetVictor go 33-1.
Trained by Alan King for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, Sceau Royal was beaten at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals in the spring, but bounced back in style on his first run since April to defeat old rival Leoncavallo by 11 lengths.
However, King was keen to play down the prospects of the winner and plans to head to the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton with Ascot likely to come too soon for the four-year-old.
He said: “He’s had a good summer back at the stud and we’ve been thrilled with his work this autumn. We’ll get today out the way and then we’ll see, there’s a nice handicap at Ascot next week but that might come too soon.
“We’ll just creep away and see where he gets to. He’s a horse we like but I’m not going to get carried away today.”
Past winners of the conditions hurdle include Tiger Roll, Starluck and Dodging Bullets, while Lil Rockerfeller and Hargam both started off in the same race last season.
Sceau Royal was completing a 15.5-1 double for jockey Daryl Jacob and the owners after Wholestone had pounced late on to capture the 3m novices’ hurdle as the 2-1 favourite.
Winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who also saddled the third Ballymalin, suggested the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival would be the long-term aim for Wholestone, who is 25-1 for the race.
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