Sceau Royal ruled out of the Festival with Terrefort likely to be routed to JLT

Mon 5 Mar 2018

By staff

Sceau Royal will miss the Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival after meeting with a minor suspensory tweak.

The Alan King-trained the six-year-old, who is four from five over fences this season, was the general third favourite for the Grade One contest on March 13.

King told Racing UK: "He's got a tweak of the suspensory. It is very slight. He is perfectly sound but thre is a little bit of filling there. It is minute."

King said earlier on in the day: "It is just a little niggle, but it is enough to stop us and we have taken the decision we will not be taking him to Cheltenham. It is a shame, but this is what happens with horses unfortunately and there is no point hiding it.

"Simon (Munir) and Isaac's (Souede) vet will come down this week and and have a look at him and we will discuss what to do then.

"Put it this way, we won't take any chances with him. If we feel he is not right, we will stop for the season and bring him back next season."

King also added that Elgin remains on course to be pitched in to the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

"That’s the plan," he said. "All the Cheltenham runners were scoped today and we will get the results of those tomorrow. He’ll work on Wednesday and provided that all goes well we’ll supplement him on Wednesday morning."

Sceau Royal owners Issac Souede and Simon Munir are leaning towards giving another of their novice chasers an outing in the JLT Novices' Chase on Thursday week.

The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old, who is a general 8-1 shot for the two-and-a-half-mile prize, is unbeaten over fences since joining the Seven Barrows handler, winning on his debut at Huntingdon before taking Grade One glory at Sandown last time.

Anthony Bromley, the owners' racing manager, said: "I'd say that he is likely to run in the JLT. He has been trained as if he could run there and I'd say he will most likely run.

"He has got an entry in the RSA, but he is only five and we don't want to stretch him too far at this stage of his career. I think he is a three-miler in the making for next season.

"Nicky seems happy enough with him. He is already a Grade One winner this season and he deserves to take his chance and the ground looks like it will be on the easy side.

"This might be his last race of the season, but we will take it one race at a time."

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