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Extra Distance To Bring Out More Improvement In Five-Year-Old

Venetia Williams tends to buy horses that fit a traditional National Hunt profile of being natural jumpers, having an affinity with soft ground and possessing at least some staying ability, and she turns out a horse today that fulfils those criteria. ESPOIR DE GUYE goes in Exeter's Coreus Group Property Consultants Handicap Chase today over an extended two miles and three furlongs and can capitalise on his racing experience so far.

The five-year-old is by Khalkevi who won the Grand Prix de Paris in 2002 and who gets progeny who tend to stay a distance on the flat and jump well when racing over obstacles. Espoir De Guye had his first two races, both hurdle events, in France in the early Summer of 2018. He won the second of these, over today's distance, and was then transferred to Williams and it must have been a shock to connections when he was down the field, beaten over 60 lengths on his English debut at Hereford a year ago. Wind surgery and a break followed before he reappeared at Warwick over hurdles in March of this year. It was a much better performance and he came in second to favourite Flash The Steel who has won a Class 1 handicap hurdle since.

Six months off the course followed before he made his chase debut at Chepstow over two miles. It was the epitome of the educational experience for the gelding. Jockey Charlie Deutsch presented him beautifully at every fence after being jumped into at the first; the horse's recovery from that bodes well. On the outside at most fences, Deutsch's mount jumped like an old hand, hurdling some obstacles when the stride pattern allowed and slightly fiddling a couple of others. He then ran on like a three-miler after the last, being given just one light slap by his pilot. He is up just 1lb today really looks like a winner in waiting.

KEEP MOVING and JUST DON'T ASK, the former a Wincanton winner last month but up 6lb today, and the latter lightly raced with bags of potential have attracted some money but at 11/8 with a number of layers, Williams' charge looks a worthy favourite.

G Lees

Article Posted on Friday 6th December 2019 @ 10.14

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