Christmas may dominate many thoughts but Alan King is already looking ahead to the new year for his two star novice chasers after revealing January targets for Sceau Royal and Yanworth in his Racing Post Weekender column.
"We're looking at the Sky Bet Novices' Chase at Doncaster in late January for Sceau Royal, who gave us such a great day at Sandown last weekend," the trainer said of his Henry VIII Novices' Chase winner.
"He's second favourite for the Arkle Chase and needs one more run before Cheltenham – Kempton over Christmas will come too soon and he doesn't want bottomless ground so Doncaster should suit him."
Sceau Royal is a best-priced 8-1 chance for the Racing Post Arkle and has delighted King the way he has taken to fences.
"His jumping was superb," the trainer said. "I know he was a good jumper of hurdles but that doesn't always translate to being very slick over fences. Yet he's been very good from the first morning we schooled him.
"Although he's not the biggest, he loves it and he's very accurate. He jumped well first time at Warwick and I always say that if they can go round there they'll go round anywhere."
Dual Grade 1-winning hurdler Yanworth is a best-priced 14-1 for the JLT Novices' Chase and 16-1 for the RSA Novices' Chase at the festival and is pencilled in for an early visit to Cheltenham.
He won at Exeter on his chasing debut and chased Willoughby Court home at Newbury last time. King said: "There's every likelihood that Yanworth will go for the Betbright Dipper Novices' Chase on New Year's day.
"He took a big step in the the right direction at Newbury last time and it will be good to get him round Cheltenham and to see where we are with him."