Unibet Elite Hurdle
|Grade 2, Wincanton 15:00
1m 7f 65y, Class 1
|Saturday 7th November 2020|
1 Sceau Royal 4/5F
2 Teqany 16/1
3 Diego Du Charmil 13/2
6 ran Distances: 7½l, 4½l, 3¾l
Time: 3m 30.30s (slow by 2.30s)
Alan King's Sceau Royal returned after wind surgery with a good win at Ffos Las in the Welsh Champion Hurdle last month and he struck again over timber with another easy success under Daryl Jacob.
The pair combined to win this race four years ago and although he's mainly raced over fences since then it looks like he's still got what it takes over the smaller obstacles judging by his form this campaign.
He travelled all over them here and eased to a seven-and-a-half length victory.
Jacob pointed out that the sound surface, for the time of year, has played to Sceau Royal’s strengths of late.
“He’s had a couple of meetings where the ground has been ideal for him,” the winning jockey told ITV Racing.
“On the soft ground, I just felt he had small wind issues last year – especially when it was very soft – and it was sort of taking its toll.”
Sceau Royal has spent several seasons as a top-level two-mile chaser, and Jacob added: “He’s been up against Altior for the last two or three years, and he’s always only been beaten two or three lengths by him.
“All credit goes to (owners’ adviser Anthony) Bromley and Alan King for picking out the Welsh Champion Hurdle as a handicap as his first start…and really playing these cards right.
“From there on, we were thinking about going for a Shloer (Chase), but we wanted to come back here because we knew the ground would be nice for him here.”
As for the remainder of Sceau Royal’s campaign, Jacob added: “He’s very, very versatile. You saw the way he jumped hurdles there – and when he jumps a fence he’s very, very quick.
“I imagine we might as well have a crack at these sort of races while he has his conditions and doesn’t have a penalty – then come the spring, we’ll see where we are Cheltenham and Aintree-wise.”
Unibet Elite Hurdle (Limited Handicap)
£48,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 65y, Class 1
POS. DIST HORSE AGE TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Sceau Royal 8 11-0 Alan King Daryl Jacob 4/5F
2 7½ Teqany 6 11-0 Fergal O'Brien Paddy Brennan 16/1
3 4½ Diego Du Charmil t 8 11-0 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 13/2
4 3¾ Solo 4 11-3 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 7/2
5 18 Brandon Castle 8 11-0 Neil King Richard Johnson 40/1
6 24 Master Debonair 6 11-3 Colin Tizzard Robbie Power 8/1