Sceau Royal digs deep for winning comeback at Cheltenham
Sceau Royal duly delivered on his eagerly-awaited comeback from “a slight tweak of the suspensory” in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham today.
But Sceau Royal, beaten only once over fences, needed to show that he had courage aplenty to complement his razor-sharp jumping when getting the better of the front-running 28-1 shot, the Nicky Richards-trained Simply Ned.
Alan said:”I couldn’t be happier with Sceau Royal, who is as slick over his fences as he was over hurdles. I don’t think I’ve trained a quicker jumper.
“Sceau Royal had been off since January, and, though we’ve had no hold-ups this autumn and he hasn’t missed a beat, you always worry when you bring a horse back from injury.
“All credit to Nicky’s old horse – he is a star and ran one hell of a race, but when things began to look dicey I took a big gulp of red wine and that seemed to do the trick.
“The logical next step is the Tingle Creek Chase, and, while Sandown on December 15 is the target for Altior, that is where we are going, too.
“The prospect of taking on Altior petrifies me, but someone has got to. Our fellow won the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase over the course last season, and we might also have the edge in fitness, but, that said, we are under no illusions of the task we face.”
Daryl Jacob, who has never disguised how highly he rates Sceau Royal, is looking forward to taking on Altior on the Esher slopes.
He said:”The race did not pan out as I had hoped, but Sceau Royal knuckled down and got the job done.
“He loves Sandown and put up an incredible performance there last year, so it was such a shame that we could not have a crack at Altior in the Arkle as I honestly feel that Sceau Royal would have given him something to think about.
“I’ve no reason to change my mind now. Sceau Royal is not very big, but he’s so fast over his fences and is a super horse, so I am relishing the chance to take on Altior at Sandown.”