Warwick preview: Sceau Royal and Forth Bridge clash on chasing debuts

Thu 5 Oct 2017

There is an intriguing clash at Warwick on Thursday as smart hurdlers Sceau Royal and Forth Bridge make their fencing debuts in the Bet At Novices' Chase.

Sceau Royal won the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last November and was sixth in the Champion Hurdle to show he was just a shade below the best in the two-mile division.

Trainer Alan King is hoping the five-year-old can make the grade over the bigger obstacles.

"He has schooled very well so far. We always thought he would be very good over fences and, touch wood, he has been," said the Barbury Castle handler.

"He is 10lb below the top grade over hurdles, but when the races were right he did it very well last season.

"Hopefully fences might improve him a touch. Let's get him started and see where we are, but I think he is a two-miler."

The year-younger Forth Bridge was a smart juvenile hurdler last term, winning the Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial in the Queen's colours before winding up with a fifth-place behind Defi Du Seuil at Aintree.

His trainer Charlie Longsdon feels the Bernardini gelding is ready to tackle fences.

"He has got the size and scope to go chasing and he goes to Warwick. They are big fences there, but he is brave," said Longsdon.

"He is a nice horse and had a very good summer break and has come back fresh and well. I hope he respects the fences enough as he is very brave.

"He has schooled very well and has always schooled well. He is almost too brave sometimes and he just needs to listen to the jockey. At Warwick they are big fences, so he will have to respect them."

The field of five is completed by the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyhill, Katy Price's Farm The Rock and Positively Dylan from the Evan Williams stable.

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