- Royale Pagaille came second in last year’s King George XI Chase
- The nine-year-old will not compete in this year’s race due to a foot problem
Royale Pagaille will miss the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase on Boxing Day because of a foot problem.
The nine-year-old, trained by Venetia Williams, had been 10-1 for the Kempton race after a career-best victory in last month’s Betfair Chase at Haydock in which he beat Bravemansgame by six-and-a-half lengths.
Williams said: ‘Unfortunately Royale Pagaille is unable to run in the King George VI Chase due to a sore foot. The timing is probably more painful than the foot itself, and hopefully he will bid for a third (win in the) Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January.’
Royale Pagaille was runner-up in last season’s King George. Adding to the frustration of Williams is that she is also not able to run L’Homme Presse, who was still in with a chance last year before unseating his rider at the last fence. He has not run since but has been pencilled in for a return to the racecourse next month.
Royale Pagaille, who runs in the pink and green silks of owner Susannah Ricci, would have been representing a stable in red-hot form, with Djelo’s success in the Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot yesterday a 14th winner from the past 37 runners for Williams.
Royale Pagaille (pictured) will not compete in the King George XI Chase due to a foot problem
Final declarations for the King George will be made this morning but with trainer Gordon Elliott already saying that he will aim Gerri Colombe at the Savills Chase at Leopardstown on December 28, the feature race of the British Christmas programme will have a maximum of six starters.
That includes two previous winners in Bravemansgame and his Paul Nicholls-trained stablemate Frodon, who was successful in 2020.
The 6-4 favourite is Allaho, trained by Willie Mullins. The odds of Hewick, a 33-1 shot a few days ago, have been trimmed again after each-way support and he is now 14-1.