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Next stop Cheltenham for Sceau Royal following Doncaster success

Sat 27 Jan 2018

Sceau Royal completed his Cheltenham Festival preparations with a comprehensive success in the Napoleons Casino & Restaurant Owlerton Sheffield Lightning Novices' Chase at Doncaster.

Alan King's six-year-old had won three of his previous four starts over fences, most recently claiming Grade One glory in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown in early December.

Despite having to concede weight to each of his three rivals back at Grade Two level, he was the 1-2 favourite on Town Moor and was given a thorough examination by the front-running and bold-jumping Shantou Rock.

The latter remained in the lead jumping two fences from home, but Sceau Royal wore him down on the run to the last and went on to score by two lengths.

King said: "I'm pleased and relieved. It was a good test for him as they went a very good gallop and I'm just pleased it's out of the way.

"This was the logical place to come. We had to get a run in as it's long time between December and March. We gave him a break after Sandown and we've left a bit to work on, so I'm happy.

"Fingers crossed he'll go straight to Cheltenham now."

Sceau Royal remains a best-priced 6-1 second-favourite for the Arkle Trophy on the opening day of the Festival in March.

Footpad, who like Sceau Royal is owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, is the 11-8 market leader.

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