Horses To Follow » Grandouet


There should be a lot more to come from Grandouet, who produced a good effort to finish second to the highly-impressive Sam Winner in a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday. AP McCoy held him up here, and that helped him to settle much better than he did on his British debut at Wetherby in his previous race. He gradually made good ground down the back and travelled well down the hill, when he briefly looked like a big threat to Sam Winner, but he had to be switched right across the track coming down the hill and he soon had no answer to the turn of foot shown by the winner. He still beat the rest fairly well, it was nine lengths back to the third, and he should be winning very soon.

This was a pleasing effort from Grandouet, who was actually conceding 8lb to the impressive winner. It is unlikely that he would have won on level terms anyway, but he produced a good effort in defeat in a race that has produced top juveniles like Fair Along, Franchoek, Katchit and Barizan, and he gives the impression that he will get better with more racing. He is a French import, like Sam Winner, and this was only his fifth start and his best performance to date. He was impressive on his last start in France, when he ran out a really easy winner at Enghien and he probably just needed his first run this season, where he was disappointing when running too freely in a listed hurdle at Wetherby. There should be more to come from him now, with more experience and especially if he gets softer ground.

13th November 2010