GBI RACING

La Bague Au Roi continues on an upward curve at Newbury

La Bague Au Roi and Richard Johnson jump the last on the way to Grade Two glory at Newbury

La Bague Au Roi maintained her unbeaten record over fences when taking a step up in class in her stride with a commanding front-running victory in the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Newbury.

Having run out a winner on her chasing debut at the track earlier in the month, the Warren Greatrex-trained seven-year-old successful followed it up in the Grade Two prize better known as the Berkshire Novices’ Chase.

Putting in another sold round of jumping, the 5-4 favourite ground her rivals into submission from the front to defeat Talkischeap by seven lengths.

The winner was cut from 14-1 into 10-1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by Paddy Power.

Greatrex said: “She is brilliant. Richard Johnson said she is doing it all within herself. We always thought fences would be the making of her and it seems to be that way. For a big horse, she is quick.

“When you unleash her, she is gone. Hopefully it is onwards and upwards. She has always been a very well-balanced mare for the size of her.

“I said to Richard, ‘is she a Grade One horse over fences?’, and he said, ‘for sure’. She deserves to win a Grade One.

“Whether she goes for the Kauto Star (Novices’ Chase, on Boxing Day), I don’t know, as she does lug left, although she has won around there (Kempton).”

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