Kings Palace can reign supreme on chasing debut
The highly-touted Kings Palace can get off to the perfect start over fences by landing the extended 3m novice chase at Cheltenham today (1.15).
The David Pipe trained gelding looked an exciting prospect when winning his first three starts over hurdles last season, with the last two of those coming in runaway style at this track.
In the first of those Kings Palace slammed subsequent Grade 2 winner Creepy easing down by 18 lengths over 3m 2f after a superb round of slick hurdling.
The six-year-old then put in a majestic performance in a Grade 2 contest, jumping fluently from the front under Tom Scudamore and sauntering clear to win by 14 lengths.
Kings Palaces jumping in those two contests was as good as I have seen for many a year by a novice, and he looks the type who will relish the larger obstacles.
Although the son of King’s Theatre did disappoint when last seen in action at the Festival here back in March when falling at the last in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle when beaten, I am convinced that he is far better than that.
Judged on his previous exploits Kings Palace looks a very exciting recruit to the chasing ranks, and Coral currently go 14/1 about him for the RSA next March.
The stable have certainly made no secret of how highly they regard Kings Palace, and this contest will see if he can live up to their high expectations as there are a couple of very interesting opponents in the line-up in the shape of Knock House and Sausalito Sunrise.
The former is trained by Mick Channon and had some useful form to his name over hurdles last season and made an impressive chasing debut at Fakenham last month.
The five-year-old made all and jumped well to beat Top Totti by 18 lengths, and that experience is sure to stand him in good stead.
Whether he has the class to cope with Kings Palace is another matter, and I can see Sausalito Sunrise giving the selection most to think about.
The Philip Hobbs trained gelding showed progressive form when winning four times over hurdles last season, and looks to have a big future over fences judged on his smooth success at Chepstow last month.
The six-year-old readily beat Minella On Line by four lengths, and hails from a yard which is absolutely flying at present.