La Bague Au Roi continues on an upward curve at Newbury

Fri 30 Nov 2018

Watch a full replay of how Warren Greatrex's mare maintained her unbeaten record over fences plus an interview with the winning trainer.

La Bague Au Roi maintained her unbeaten record over fences when taking a step up in class in her stride with a commanding front-running victory in the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Newbury.

Having run out a winner on her chasing debut at the track earlier in the month, the Warren Greatrex-trained seven-year-old successful followed it up in the Grade Two prize better known as the Berkshire Novices’ Chase.

Putting in another sold round of jumping, the 5-4 favourite ground her rivals into submission from the front to defeat Talkischeap by seven lengths.

The winner was cut from 14-1 into 10-1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by Paddy Power.

Greatrex told racing UKd: “She is brilliant. Richard Johnson said she is doing it all within herself. We always thought fences would be the making of her and it seems to be that way. For a big horse, she is quick.

“When you unleash her, she is gone. Hopefully it is onwards and upwards. She has always been a very well-balanced mare for the size of her.

“I said to Richard, ‘is she a Grade One horse over fences?’, and he said, ‘for sure’. She deserves to win a Grade One.

“Whether she goes for the Kauto Star (Novices’ Chase, on Boxing Day), I don’t know, as she does lug left, although she has won around there (Kempton).”

Earlier on the card, Bright Forecast gained an emotional success when making a winning debut under Rules in the Ladbrokes “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle at Newbury.

Sporting the colours of the late Nick Embiricos, which were famously carried to glory in the 1981 Grand National by Aldaniti, the four-year-old, who runs under the Aldaniti Partnership banner, flew from the back of the last in the two-mile prize to defeat Severano by a neck.

Embiricos died last week, aged 81, and winning trainer Ben Pauling said: “It is a hugely emotional win, as Nick was not just one of the biggest supporters of racing but he was a fantastic man. It means a huge amount to everyone.”

On the 20-1 winner, he added: “I’ve liked him at home, but finishing third of three in a point-to-point well beaten is not exactly the best first run.

“He looked green and missed hurdles, but he galloped very well to the line. Nico (de Boinville) said he was quite impressed from the back of the last.

“We will go and do something at a small track with a penalty, because he needs to learn. We don’t want to be throwing him in the deep end yet.”

Watch how the colours of the late Nick Embirico were carried to victory at Newbury on Friday.

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