Wednesday 17 January 2018

Grand' to have new tilt at Fly

Grandouet will have another crack at Hurricane Fly in Punchestown's Rabobank Champion Hurdle to determine whether he will start novice chasing next year.

Trainer Nicky Henderson was left wondering what might have been after his horse fell when still appearing to be going nicely in Tuesday's Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, eventually won by Willie Mullins's star. It was only Grandouet's second start of the campaign, and the trainer said: "The Champion Hurdle was the missing race, so we'll definitely go to Ireland. We'll know whether to stay hurdling if we're good enough to give Hurricane Fly any sort of a fright there.

"If he's blatantly 10lb behind or anything like that, we'll know to go novice chasing next year, but we need to do that to find out this year. I don't think he's a two-and-a-half-mile horse."

Sprinter Sacre, which ran away with the Queen Mother Champion Chase, is to join his stablemate at Punchestown, but there are questions over Simonsig, which was not as impressive as many had hoped despite landing Tuesday's Arkle.

"I don't think you saw the proper Simonsig there. He seemed to be running away from something and his scope was not quite right," Henderson said.

Irish Independent

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