Straight to Festival for Palace
David Pipe reports Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle favourite Kings Palace is likely to head straight to the Cheltenham Festival.
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The six-year-old has plenty of Cheltenham experience already, after winning at both the Showcase and International meetings in October and December respectively.
His last win earned him an official rating of 156 and, though connections had pondered giving him another run before March, he's now likely to head straight to the Albert Bartlett.
Pipe told sportinglife.com: "I would think he'll go straight to the Festival now. We were thinking we might try and get another run into him but that's looking unlikely.
"He's in great form and he'll be entered in both (the Albert Bartlett and the Neptune)."
Meanwhile, another of Pipe's novice hurdlers, Red Sherlock, will have another outing before the Festival, possibly on Trials Day at the end of January.
Pipe said: "He's come out of the race at Wetherby fine and we'll be stepping him up in grade on his next start.
"He could go to Cheltenham at the end of the month."
How he gets on in better company will determine his Festival target, with the two miles and five furlongs of the Neptune Novices' Hurdle looking a likely port of call.
"That would be his distance (two miles and five furlongs in the Neptune) but we'll see how he gets on in his next start first," Pipe said.
While Pipe puts the finishing touches on his novice hurdling team for Cheltenham, Gevrey Chambertin will begin life over fences in the coming week.
Entered in a Grade Two novice chase at Haydock on Saturday, the full-brother to Grands Crus will run at Bangor next Monday if he misses that assignment.
"He'll run either at Haydock on Saturday or at Bangor in a week's time," Pipe said.
"I'm looking forward to getting him out again, he's been schooling really well at home."