Messire swerving Cheltenham trip

Trainer Alan King has confirmed Messire Des Obeaux will not be heading to the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Messire Des Obeaux produced a brilliant performance to win the Like Racing TV On Facebook Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Wincanton in December, finishing two-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Evan Williams’ Coconut Splash.

The nine-year-old returned to the same track on January 9, this time recording a bigger victory in the Paddy Power Dipper Novices’ Chase, and King has reported his charge in fine shape after that display.

A trip to Prestbury Park had been mentioned after that latest win, but King insists Cheltenham is not on the cards and a shot at the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown early next month is likely.

“Messire is grand and will go for the Scilly Isles (on February 6), which has always been the plan since his last run,” he said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “Touch wood he’s fine, but I won’t even enter him for Cheltenham.

“I would be concerned he might be vulnerable to a recurrence of his problem running on an undulating course.”

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