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A French-bred to follow – Royale Pagaille

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His name, which can be translated “Royal Mess”, suggested he was a party crasher, and Royale Pagaille surely lives up to it since he became a last minute addition to this year’s Gold Cup, on Friday at the Festival. Still a novice, he was aimed first at the national Hunt Chase won by Galvin on Tuesday. But his trainer Venetia Williams and the Riccis decided to go for a bigger lap of faith here.

Bought by French bloodstock Agent Guy Petit, a regular purveyor of Williams’, at the Arqana 2018 Autumn Sale for 70 000 €, Royale Pagaille was sold by the French leading owner Patrick Papot after a good start in France. A winner over Pau Hurdles at 4, he was consigned to Deauville after a Listed 2nd at Auteuil for trainer François Nicolle.

He wouldn’t show up again for a good year, until early last year, racing twice only before the Summer. Back this season in full steam, Royale Pagaille won his three races so far, including the >peter marsh Chase (Gr2) lately.

He could, indeed, be anything. His dam Royale Cazoumaille, bred by Gilbert Gallot, was a group-placed hurdler at Auteuil. She was good enough to win there at 3 but improved with age, as she finished 4th in the French top Hurdle race, over 3 miles, at 6.