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StanJames.com International Hurdle 




Grandouet Day for Nicky Henderson

1 Grandouet 5/2J
2 Overturn 7/2
3 Brampour 13/2
8 ran Distances: 4l, nk, 9l
TIME 3m 57.71s (slow by 1.71s)

Grandouet staked a big claim for the Champion Hurdle with an emphatic victory in the stanjames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham.

© Racehorse Photos


The highly progressive four-year-old proved superior in a quality field as he provided the middle leg of a big-race treble for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty, completed by Quantitativeeasing and Oscar Whisky.

The ultra-game Overturn set off in front in customary fashion, but Grandouet (5-2 joint-favourite) moved menacingly to land fractionally in front at the final flight and bounded up the hill in impressive style, scoring by four lengths, with Brampour another neck away third.

Geraghty said: "I was just trapped a little wide two out, I had to switch and thankfully had room. I knew he'd travel and take me there. I didn't want to get there as soon as I did, but he battled well.

"He improved all through last year and he's better than your average four-year-old going five, I'd say. He's improved an awful lot since last year. He travelled brilliantly - you don't see horses travelling much easier than that going to the last. He's very good. I never had any doubts (about going up the hill)."

Henderson added: "Today was all about finding out if he could cope with the stiff hill. He's stronger than last year, but you always think four-year-olds are going to struggle.

"We had to come here to see if he's a Cheltenham horse rather than wait for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, which would have been the obvious thing to do with a speed horse. I'm not tempted by the Christmas Hurdle, I think I'll give him a bit off time off and he'll have one race before the Champion Hurdle somewhere.

"Spirit Son will have a run after Christmas and Binocular is going for the Christmas Hurdle."

© Racehorse Photos

Donald McCain said of Overturn: "It was his third run in a month, and also I think the ground was a bit dead for him today. I'm not going to make any decisions about what we will do with him now, but we know where he'll end up in March (the Champion Hurdle)."

Philip Hobbs said of fourth home Menorah: "He'd had a bit of an infected foot and had only done two serious bits of work, Richard (Johnson) felt he needed the run. However, that wasn't a Champion Hurdle performance and we will probably go back chasing with him."


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 4lbs
5 - 2
D McCain Jnr
J M Maguire
11st 8lbs
7 - 2
4 lengths
P F Nicholls
Harry Derham
11st 4lbs
13 - 2
P J Hobbs
R Johnson
11st 8lbs
5 - 2
9 lengths
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 4lbs
14 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
Stormy Weather
B Ellison
Danny Cook
11st 0lbs
200 - 1
24 lengths
Clerk's Choice
O Sherwood
L Aspell
11st 4lbs
14 - 1
11 lengths
C Byrnes
A P McCoy
11st 0lbs
10 - 1
23 lengths

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