Trainer Warren Greatrex has revealed that star mare La Bague Au Roi came into season after pulling up in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
A winner of Grade One novice chases last season, the mare was expected by many to get her season off to a flying start in the Charlie Hall, but ran very flat and was eventually pulled up.
However, writing his column for www.sportinglife.com, the trainer revealed
“La Bague Au Roi was disappointing on her reappearance in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby last week but I do think two issues were behind the performance.
“The lesser of them was the ground. It rained all day and became very soft but Richard Johnson was unable to put his finger on what happened.
“However she then came into season after the race and that would be the main explanation for me. She was never happy from the word go, if I could have stopped the race after one fence I would have done.
“She never went with her usual zest, you expect to see her on the bridle and jumping boldly and it just didn’t happen. It was only her class that carried her within reach of the leaders turning in.
“Richard looked after her from there and she came out of it fine. It was in my mind to go to Kempton for the Ladbrokes King George on Boxing Day, and while plans can always change, I’m still inclined to think that way.”