Redicean has more gears than Champion hero Katchit says King
Alan King knows what it takes to win a JCB Triumph Hurdle having succeeded twice already in the race, and the trainer can see similarities between his latest contender Redicean and one of his previous winners of the Cheltenham Festival juvenile highlight.
King won the Grade 1 in 2005 with Penzance and struck again in 2007 with Katchit. Penzance won the race off the back of a victory in Kempton's Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle, and now Redicean will attempt to chart the same course.
Formerly with David O'Meara on the Flat, Redicean recorded a third course-and-distance success at Kempton on Saturday when smoothly dispatching his rivals by seven lengths.
"He's probably more in the Penzance camp as he's got plenty of speed," King said on Sunday. "Katchit was a thorough stayer and I think Redicean would have more gears. We've always thought he was pretty good and he looked it yesterday."
Bookmakers reacted to the performance by making Redicean clear second favourite for the Triumph at 5-1 behind Apple's Shakira, and King added: "You'd have to go there expecting him to run really well."
King may have another festival contender in the ranks after giving Scarlet Dragon his hurdles debut in the other Grade 2 hurdle on Kempton's card, the Dovecote, and he was pleased with how the five-year-old fared.
Placed twice at Group 3 level last summer on the Flat for Eve Johnson Houghton, Scarlet Dragon made good progress from the rear of the field to finish second behind Global Citizen, and could now head to the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.
"It's not my usual way, putting them straight in a Grade 2, but we didn't want to lose his maiden status for a couple of grand," King added.
"He was a bit free early on as he hadn't run for while but I was pleased with how he saw the race out. We'll see how he comes out of it and there's a chance he could go for the Supreme. I think that will take a lot of the freshness off him and he should learn plenty."
County Hurdle could be considered for Global Citizen
The handicapper's reaction to Global Citizen's dominant performance in the Dovecote will go a long way in determining whether connections are tempted to roll the dice at Cheltenham.
Following the six-year-old's nine-length romp, Global Citizen is as short as 10-1 for the Randox Health County Hurdle, although he can be backed at double that price for the Grade 3 Handicap.
Such was the manner of his victory, the question was posed as to whether he would be supplemented for the Supreme, but, speaking on Sunday, trainer Ben Pauling downplayed that possibility.
"I certainly don't think we'll be looking at the Imperial Cup or supplementing for the Supreme," Pauling said.
"If we went to Cheltenham it would be the County but we'll have to see what the handicapper does on Tuesday. Our long-term plan this season is to have a crack at one of the Grade 1 novice races at Aintree."
Weights for all festival handicaps will be released on Wednesday. Global Citizen was rated 130 prior to Saturday's wide-margin win.
Reflecting on the victory, the trainer added: "You couldn't be anything but delighted with the way he did it. He seems to have an enormous amount of pace in his races and is very accurate with his jumping which is quite exciting."
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