Horses To Follow » Grumeti


Grumeti, an 83-rated Flat performer, was a 100,000gns purchase out of Michael Bell’s yard at the Tattersalls Horses-In-Training Sale at the end of October, and he really impressed in coming clear of the useful Ted Spread on his hurdling debut for Alan King at Taunton last week.

He jumped quite markedly to his right at the first hurdle, but was much better after that. Settled in about sixth on the inside by Wayne Hutchinson, just behind the favourite Ted Spread, early on, he made ground at the end of the back straight to take a share of third as they began the turn out of the back. He emerged in between War Singer and Ted Spread at the top of the home straight, apparently travelling best of all, and although Ted Spread picked up and went into a narrow lead on the run to the second last, Grumeti jumped the flight better, went on into the lead and had gone three lengths clear before he jumped the last. He scampered right away on the run-in, Hutchinson driving him right out to put 14 lengths between himself and his closest pursuer.

Ted Spread had already finished a promising fourth in a strong-looking introductory hurdle at Ascot on his hurdling debut, the first two home there, Broadbackbob and Cinders And Ashes both look very smart and could well be Festival bound, and Ted Spread was well backed here having joined Paul Nicholls since that last run. There were several others in this race who had already run up to a fair level of form too. Grumeti was receiving lots of weight as a three-year-old against his elders, but this was a really smart performance on his hurdling debut, he proved he has the stamina for two miles over hurdles, and he is clearly not short on speed either.

He is a half-brother to Ellerslie Tom who was rated as high as 140 over hurdles at one point, and Grumeti has the potential to be even better than that, he could well be a Triumph Hurdle contender. Alan King has won two of the last seven renewals of the Triumph Hurdle, and one of those winners, the 2005 hero Penzance, also started off at Taunton. Penzance had two subsequent runs before the Triumph Hurdle and you would imagine Grumeti would follow a similar programme if the Triumph is to be his target. Alan King has also introduced a couple of other Triumph Hurdle possibles recently in Ardlui and Vendor, but Grumeti looks to be the pick of that strong team.

30th December 2011