Grumeti given Champion Hurdle green light by King
Trainer Alan King has given the go-ahead for former Triumph Hurdle third Grumeti to take his chance in the Champion Hurdle.
The six-year-old, who is 100/1 with Coral for the Festival’s opening day feature race, delighted the Barbury Castle handler when finishing third to Melodic Rendezvous on bottomless ground in the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincaton.
“Grumeti will definitely go for the Champion Hurdle, having run well to finish third in the Kingwell at Wincanton. The ground would have been plenty deep enough for him, but he travelled strongly into the race and I would like to think there is still more improvement to come,” said King on his website.
Grumeti was a high class juvenile in 2012, finishing third to Countrywide Flame in the Triumph Hurdle before gaining revenge on that rival at Aintree.
He has since been plagued with injuries, but there was lots to like about his effort at Wincanton where he only weakened in the latter stages of the race on what was just his second start after 224 days out.
King also has also given positive reports on Medermit and Wilde Blue Yonder following their final prep runs before Cheltenham.
Medermit stayed on late in eye-catching style to finish fourth to Captain Chris at Ascot on his first run for nearly two years. He holds entries in the Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase, for which he is 66/1 and 33/1 respectively with Coral.
King said: “Medermit came back fine after his run against Captain Chris in the Ascot Chase. Having been off almost two years, I thought he ran really well.
“It was a big ask in that ground in such a hot race, but we needed to get him started again. He is in the Ryanair and the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, or we could wait for Aintree.”
Wilde Blue Yonder, meanwhile, took a final flight tumble when set to cruise home in a decent hurdle contest at Ascot. King reports him to be none the worst for falling and on target for a crack at the Surpeme Novices’ Hurdle.
He said: “It was tough seeing Wilde Blue Yonder take another last-flight fall at Ascot when about to win his race, but, having looked as if he was on a long stride, he changed his mind. Happily, he returned unscathed, and the plan is to still go for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.” He is 20/1 with Coral for the Supreme.