sport

King ponders Balder choices

The Aintree and Punchestown Festivals, as well as Cheltenham, will be under consideration for Balder Succes after his Warwick triumph.

Balder Succes staked his claim for the Racing Post Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham, in which trainer Alan King already has a strong contender in Valdez.

However, King reports the owners of Balder Succes are enthusiastic about running their six-year-old at the other two main Festivals later in the spring.

"Wayne (Hutchinson) was very pleased with Balder Succes, who put the race to bed with some brilliant jumps down the back straight," the Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co.uk

"He is a great little leper and has won three of his five races over fences, so he has the experience for Cheltenham, though I will sit down and talk to the owners before making a final decision as I know that they are keen on both Aintree and Punchestown."

King enjoyed an across-the-card treble on Saturday to confirm his string was back in business after he was forced to shut up shop in January.

His other two winners, Smad Place and Midnight Prayer, are bound for the RSA Chase and National Hunt Chase respectively at Cheltenham next month after their victories.

"Smad Place won't run again before the RSA. He needed this extra experience, so I was relieved that Newbury got the green light," said King.

"His jumping was a bit patchy early on, but he got better as the race progressed, and he is a real three-miler, so Cheltenham should suit him well."