Connections of placed horses not running scared of Altior at Cheltenham
Sceau Royal and Dynamite Dollars finished second and third to Altior in the Betfair-backed Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Saturday, but connections are well up for a rematch in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham next month.
Trained by Alan King for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, Sceau Royal has finished behind Altior four times, including when third in last year's Champion Chase.
He is 20-1 for the Champion Chase with the race sponsor, and King said: "It was a great run and when he gets his ground he's as good as ever.
"As long as it's decent ground he'll run in the Champion Chase – I wouldn't run him in a bog. I need to speak to Anthony Bromley, who is Simon and Isaac's racing manager, but I'd like to go two and a half miles at Aintree after. If he gets that trip it will be at Aintree, and he settles so well now.
"You can't call him a nearly horse and if it's good ground he'll run really well at Cheltenham. I couldn't be more pleased with my fella and he's better left-handed, even though I know he's won at Sandown."
Dynamite Dollars, having his first outing for more than a year, is also a Sandown winner, landing last season's Henry VIII Novices' Chase, which Sceau Royal captured in 2017.
Like that horse, the Champion Chase is likely to be next.
He is owned by Michael Geoghehan and trained by Paul Nicholls, who said: "He ran a blinder and has got massive improvement to come because he hasn't run for a year.
"He's an exciting horse, but I didn't know what to expect today because we haven't been able to do lots of galloping. We got him fit and it was thrilling to see him run like that.
"If you look at the bare result, he's been beaten three and a half lengths on his first run of the season.
"Any horse will improve for that and he could be right in the mix for Champion Chase. It doesn't look like he needs two and a half miles, but I'll talk to the owner and see."
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