Kingwell Hurdle a weekend option for Champion Chase hope Sceau Royal

Drying ground increases chance of Wincanton outing

  • Tuesday 12 February
  • News
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Alan King is not ruling out the possibility of running Grade One winner Sceau Royal in the Betway Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday.

Plans had been in place to send the seven-year-old, who also holds an entry in the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Thursday, straight to next month’s Cheltenham Festival for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase.

But with the ground remaining quick the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede-owned gelding could revert back to hurdles for the first time this season and bid to go two places better in the Grade Two prize than he did in 2017.

King said: “Anthony Bromley (racing manager to the owners) said to pop him in the race and have a look at that. He is very well at home.

“He is in at Kelso, but Nicky Henderson’s horse (We Have A Dream) I believe is going there so he won’t be doing that.

“It looks like being fairly dry for the rest of the week. The more the ground dries up, there is every chance he will run in the Kingwell.

“If he doesn’t go there he will keep over fences and head straight to Cheltenham for the Queen Mother. We are really just keeping our options open.”

Stablemate and dual Grade One winner Yanworth could also be back in action on Saturday, holding entries in the Grade Two William Hill Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock and Listed Keltbray Swinley Chase at Ascot.

The JP McManus-owned nine-year-old has not been sighted since finishing down the field in last year’s Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

King added: “I need to speak to Frank Berry (McManus’ racing manager) and see what they want to do. We have given him the two entries to keep his options open.

“I want to run him as he needs to get out and I’d like to think he will go somewhere this weekend. He has done a lot of work and is in great form. I’m very happy with him.”

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