French Youngsters Lead the Way
By George Gorman, Friday, 15th December, 2017
We had two French youngsters break their British ducks in the past week with three-year-old Aiguille Rouge and 5-year-old Cheque En Blanc. First was Aiguille Rouge on Monday at Fontwell, she dealt with this Juvenile Hurdle field impressively as she drew away from three out to win by eight lengths on only her third start in Britain. Having finished fifth and third in her first two English starts it will be interesting to see what mark she is given now and we can assess her options for the rest of the season once we know. Cheque En Blanc then followed suit in the three-mile Handicap Hurdle at Taunton on Thursday where Jamie Moore delivered him from behind to win by four lengths. He’s been knocking on the door since arriving from Tom Symonds’ over the summer with two thirds and it’s nice to see him get his head in front. At the weekend Ar Mad showed a return to near his best form when finishing third in a good renewal of the Tingle Creek on Saturday. Despite racing characteristically keenly, he led to two out and put in a clear round of jumping, hopefully this is a sign of more to come from him and he stays sound.
On the subject of last weekend, Sire De Grugy was left all dressed up with nowhere to go with the abandonment of Huntingdon on Sunday. They did reschedule the Peterborough Chase for Thursday at Taunton but regrettably they increased the distance which wouldn’t have suited Grugy so instead he goes to Cheltenham to run in a Handicap Chase on Saturday. Again, he’ll have to carry top weight against some good horses but we’re hopeful that he can return to form here. Also, running on Saturday but up the country in Doncaster is Eragon De Chanay, who again takes on Grade 2 company in the Juvenile Hurdle there. Again, he’s a big price but he was able to acquit himself well last time off a similar price and this time he’s unlikely to run into a horse of Apple’s Shakira’s calibre so a decent run certainly isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Returning in the next week is one of our stars of the winter so far Stoical Patient. She’s in at Plumpton on Monday and Towcester on Thursday and having won at Plumpton earlier in the season and seeming a solid stayer neither option should hold any unforeseen difficulties. Having been given a mark of one hundred she is running in the same grade that she has won in the last three times. Obviously, she has gone up now twenty-nine pounds this season but she seemed to draw away last time as easily as the previous two runs and she’s had a decent rest since her last run so we’re hopeful she can make it four in a row for Westbourne Racing Club.
Entries for the weekend
Sire De Grugy 1:20 Cheltenham
Eragon De Chanay 2:45 Doncaster