Alan King's versatile gelding Sceau Royal is set to go back over fences next month in search of landing the Grade Two game Spirit Chase for a second season running.
Sceau Royal has been a star over both fences and hurdles during his career for the Alan King and owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.
Over hurdles his greatest exploits to date have been when landing three Grade Two Elite Hurdles and a Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las.
Over fences he has managed a similar standard of win, taking out races like the Grade One Henry VIII Novices' Chase, Grade Two Lightning Novices' Chase, Shloer Chase and the Game Spirit Chase.
This season, like many of his past terms at the start he has been seen four times over hurdles, winning a Listed event at Kempton and then taking out his third Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.
Looking to land his first Grade One over flights he had to settle for third in the Fighting Fifth and then last time out in the International Hurdle he was way below par.
King has now stated he will be sent back over fences with his target being to defend his Game Spirit title, having seen off Champ and Greaneteen last term.
(Credit ATR) The owners’ racing manager Anthony Bromley told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s had a great season over hurdles but now it’s the time to go chasing. He’ll go for the Game Spirit at Newbury in the middle of February on Betfair Hurdle day.
“Then we’ll decide whether or not he goes for the Champion Chase or waits for the Grade One two-and-a-half-mile at Aintree, which has always tempted us because it’s left-handed on a Flat track. And if we’re going to try two and a half miles with him, that would be the track to try him on in the spring.“
We just might swerve this year’s Champion Chase but let’s see. If he goes and wins the Game Spirit very well then you get tempted in again, so we’ll see.”