The International Hurdle is one of the key trials for the Hhampion Hurdle and we had a top class winner over the weekend in the form of Grandouet. The Nicky Henderson horse was racing out of his age group for the very first time but proved too good for a classy field over the Champion Hurdle course and distance. The horse was a top novice hurdler last season but looks to be right at home in Champion Hurdle company and could be a real star of the future. At just four years-old Grandouet is the youngest winner of the International hurdle since Binocular in 2008 and based on the fact he is still improving he could be a real star of the future.
Some have questioned the quality of the International Hurdle but in Overturn and Menorah there were some good class horses who simply couldn't live with Grandouet up the Cheltenham hill. Connections were particularly impressed with the way Grandouet travelled and then when he was asked to quicken he duly obliged to win the feature race of the meeting. The Champion Hurdle Betting is already looking exciting for the Cheltenham Festival with Grandouet clearly showing the best form so far of the main protagonists. We are yet to see the current ante-post favourite Hurricane Fly this season bit connections are hoping he will get a run over Christmas when we should learn a lot more about the Champion hurdler from last season. Nicky Henderson had a great time of it at the International Meeting with the likes of Quantitatveeasing and Oscar Whisky joining Grandouet in the winners circle at Cheltenham on Saturday.