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Rebel Du Maquis

Rebel Du Maquis ran out an impressive winner of a two-mile novices’ hurdle at Exeter on Tuesday on his debut for Paul Nicholls. This wasn’t the greatest novices’ hurdle ever run – even though the presence of Strategic Approach in third place gives it a semblance of solidity – but the manner in which Rebel Du Maquis did it was most impressive. Settled in second place by Ruby Walsh just towards the outside of a decent enough pace set by Tayarat, his jumping was accurate throughout, and he jumped his way to the front over the sixth last. Two lengths clear turning for home, one by one they began to come off the bridle in behind as Walsh just sat still, ensuring that his partner just maintained him momentum. He just squeezed him up a little between the final two flights, and the son of Brier Creek came clear readily, jumping the three flights in the straight as accurately as he had the previous five.

It is hardly surprising that Rebel Du Maquis was so good over his hurdles, being a recruit from France – where they school their horses often and early – to the Paul Nicholls yard. Indeed, he had already run in a hurdle and two chases in his native land last year, finishing second in all three races, so he remains a novice under both codes. He is still only four, and it would not be surprising to see him progress from this. He could take his place among the top novice hurdlers this season.

20th October 2009

© The Irish Field, 24th October 2009