Impressive Kempton winner Royale Pagaille is likely to head for the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock next.
The Venetia Williams-trained novice is now rated 156 after the handicapper took retrospective action following his Christmas victory over Cap Du Nord.
Owned by Rich Ricci, he also holds an entry in Doncaster’s Sky Bet Chase but he will head to Merseyside on January 23, all being well.
“The handicapper has gone and popped him up another 2lb after (third-placed) Double Shuffle’s victory (last Saturday), which I thought was a bit punchy as he would have probably been beaten had the other horse jumped the last better,” said Williams.
“The plan, all being well, is to go to the Peter Marsh at Haydock on Saturday week. We will take it one step at a time with him.
“I got him at the sales in France two years ago, but he didn’t run for a year. It took a while to get him sorted.
“He was a tad disappointing in the first couple of runs the previous season for us, but we are thrilled that he has stepped up now. I do find it slightly intriguing that he (the handicapper) has taken the view he has in putting him up above most of the novices that have been running in the graded novices, which seems a little bit bizarre.
“You have to remember at Kempton he was running against handicappers and not all of them were at the top of their game at that stage. I’ve no doubt the second was in good form, but there were quite a few that weren’t.
“We will see how he goes at Haydock and make further decisions after that.”
Ricci has the vast majority of his horses trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, and Williams explained: “I met Rich through Andrew Brooks (owner) a number of years ago.
“We’ve met up on a few occasions since and he said a few years ago to get in touch if I found a nice horse, so I’m delighted to have found one.”