Adrien Du Pont: made a mess of the last but still won by six lengths
PICTURE: Getty Images
Report: Ascot, Sunday
Coutts Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 1m7½f, 4yo
GRADE 1 winner Adrien Du Pont added another valuable prize to his haul as he routed his rivals in this £40,000 juvenile handicap hurdle.
The Finale Juvenile Hurdle winner was forced to sidestep the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell in February having coughed days before the contest, but he secured ample compensation in fine style under an aggressive front-running ride from Sam Twiston-Davies.
The 13-8 favourite, who raced in a clear lead for much of the way, was untidy at the last but crossed the line six lengths to the good. Oceane was second while Berland was one and a half lengths further back in third.
How the race panned out
Adrien Du Pont initially raced in second behind Swincombe Toby but, keen to get on with things, he was allowed to stride on by Sam Twiston-Davies.
The pair had established a significant advantage as they headed down the back, and still seemed to be going strongly on the turn for home.
Adrien Du Pont’s rivals struggled to whittle away the deficit and, despite tiring slightly and blundering at the final flight, the favourite passed the line without ever facing a serious threat.
Regarding the front-running ride, trainer Paul Nicholls said: “He’s still a bit enthusiastic and that wasn’t the plan to be honest with you.
“I was mortified he couldn’t go to the National Spirit. I’d trained him for that then he coughed on the Friday.”
Discussing future plans for the exciting youngster, Nicholls added: “Because he won in April in France he can only run in four-year-old hurdles – he can’t run in novice hurdles against older horses. I didn’t want to go to Aintree as I thought it would be too sharp for him and this was all that was left.
“He’s unlikely to run again this year. He’ll come back in the autumn and could run in the Ascot Hurdle over 2m3f or go to France for the four-year-old Champion Hurdle over 2m2f.”
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