Racing: Pipe bags France's Festival favourite

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The Independent Online
THE WORLD Cup is one thing, but England is clearly not allowed to let slip to the French another trophy it holds most dear. Hors La Loi III was a Gallic hope for the Triumph Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival until it was announced yesterday he had been purchased for the yard of Britain's leading trainer, Martin Pipe. If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em.

The four-year-old gelding has been unbeaten in two runs in Britain this year for Francois Doumen, who has already taken Cheltenham's greatest prize, the Gold Cup, with The Fellow. The horse would have been ridden by his son Thierry. "He's sold," the trainer admitted last night. "I feel sad for the kid, but at the price I could not advise my client to say no.''

Hors La Loi III was promoted to 6-1 joint favourite for the Triumph Hurdle on the back of this news, while there were doubts about the other joint favourite, Katarino. "He was fine this morning," protested his trainer, Nicky Henderson. But then Doumen had said that over the croissants.

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