Alan King sets sights on Dovecote date for Dragon

Huntingdon winner could have another crack at Grade Two contest

  • Wednesday 30 January
  • News
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Alan King is keen to give useful dual purpose performer Scarlet Dragon the chance to go one better than 12 months ago in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton.

After finishing second in the Grade Two prize on his hurdling debut, the six-year-old could now return to the Sunbury track for a second tilt at the race on February 23.

The gelded son of Sir Percy, who also holds an entry in the Group Three Betway Winter Derby at Lingfield on the same day, opened his account over hurdles at the third time of asking at Huntingdon on Friday.

King said: “I want to go for the Dovecote with Scarlet Dragon. We might go to Doncaster next week as I would like to get another run in, but it might be tight.

“He was ferociously keen at Huntingdon, but he hit the line well and ran a great race.

“I was just pleased when he went to the front he saw it right out and kept his head in front, as he had not won for more than two years.

“If we get another novice race into him under a penalty, it might just help him not be quite so keen.”

Scarlet Dragon could be joined at Kempton by stablemate Talkischeap, who found only On The Blind Side too strong there on Monday with King earmarking the Grade Three 888Sport Handicap Chase as a potential target for the seven-year-old.

King said: “On The Blind Side was the one that if he got his act together, we would be in trouble against.

“Talkischeap missed the last, but that would have made no difference as the winner was on top at the end. I think we might come back for the Grade Three handicap chase next month.”

Plans remain fluid for dual Grade One winner Yanworth, who is back in the yard, having missed the first part of the season with a small setback.

King added: “Yanworth is back in the yard and is cantering. I don’t know where he will go yet as I need to sit down and talk to Frank Berry (racing manager to owner JP McManus).

“He has an entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and he might go for that, but he will have other entries as well.”

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