Trainer Warren Greatrex has stated that he may look elsewhere than Kempton on boxing Day to run his super mare La Bague Au Roi with her intended contest of the King George VI set to be the hottest renewal ever seen at the track.
The eight year old got off the mark in a beginners chase at Newbury last season and then just weeks later followed that up in superb style at the same track over course and distance in a Grade Two.
Boxing Day was calling and at odds 8/1 she went on to surprise many by landing the Grade One Kauto Star Novices Chase seeing off some superb competition in Topofthegame and Santini.
Strangely Warren Greatrex took her over to Ireland at Leopardstown and entered her in the Grade One Flogas Novices Chase which again she prevailed nicely and looked a serious chaser to be respected.
She finished her season off at Aintree in the Manifesto Novices Chase where she was outshined by Kalashnikov but still ran nicely and will be stronger this year.
With aspirations of another big season Greatrex sent his mare out for her seasonal debut at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase where she was very disappointing jumping well below par and subsequently being pulled up.
Greatrex is now thinking of other options to race his horse with the less than impressive seasonal bow and the star quality being entered for this seasons King George VI.
(Credit Racing Post) He said: Greatrex said: "I had the King George as my main plan for La Bague Au Roi but I’m not totally convinced – it could possibly be the most competitive King George for years.
"We might look at the Peterborough Chase instead. I would say it would be either/or but I think that might be our first plan now."
La Bague Au Roi last season twice beat Betfair Chase winner and King George favourite Lostintranslation, with one of her wins including a 13 lengths demolition at Newbury, and although a potential rematch may be delayed Greatrex still has total confidence in his mare to get back to her best.
He added: "Lostintranslation has been very impressive and for us it’s natural to be a bit downbeat after La Bague Au Roi was pulled up at Wetherby, but she’s a high-class mare and I still have complete faith in her.
"She’s beaten Lostintranslation twice and she’s beaten him well."