Staying campaign on Grand Alliance agenda

Grand Alliance opened up a new range of options when going down gallantly to Sober in the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville on Sunday.

The Charlie Fellowes-trained four-year-old split the two best stayers in France with Prix Maurice de Nieuil winner The Good Man back in third.

Despite being a half-brother to top seven-furlong specialist Dutch Connection, the gelding, who was bred by owners Paul and Susan Roy, now looks to have found his niche.

“He ran very well. In fairness, we stepped him up in trip on the advice of Ryan Moore after he had only ridden him once and as Ryan so often is, he was right,” said Fellowes.

“We always thought he was very ground dependent but going over two miles, he can run round in third gear rather than fifth.

“Sober and The Good Man are the two best stayers in France and he’s split them. The ground drying out probably just suited Sober more than us.

“Looking at his pedigree, you wouldn’t think he would stay a yard further than a mile, but the staying trips seem to suit him and it’s opened up a load more doors.

“There’s obviously the Cadran (September 30) and the Doncaster Cup (September 15) but that is not too far apart, so it will be one or the other on the way to Ascot.

“That’s two and a quarter miles at Donny, but Ryan suggested it and it makes sense as he’s won there before, it’s left-handed and Flat, so it could well be Donny and then Ascot on Champions Day.

“With the Prix Royal-Oak being two-five, that might just be stretching him a bit too far, but hopefully his owners can now have some fun with him.”

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