Grumeti's stock on rise after fall

 

The old theatrical adage about a bad dress rehearsal clearly holds good on muddier stages, too. The Triumph Hurdle contender Grumeti may have slipped and slithered to the ground at Newbury yesterday but bookmakers clearly believe it will be all right on the night as, collectively, they shortened his price for the Cheltenham four-year-old feature. Among the first half-dozen in the market after an impressive debut over obstacles last month, the gelding is now clear or joint-favourite in nearly every list.

To be fair, Grumeti had yesterday's contest at his mercy when he came down a stride after landing over the penultimate flight, seemingly losing his footing on sticky, rain-softened turf. The 8-15 favourite was eight lengths clear and cruising under Wayne Hutchinson at the time, conceding 7lb to all his rivals, and if any fall can be soft, this one was.

Provided all is well with Alan King's young charge, who seemed perfectly unscathed as a disconsolate Hutchinson led him away from the scene of their mishap, he is likely to get some extra match practice before his March date, for which he is generally an 8-1 chance.

"He was going to have just one more run before the Festival," said his owner, Max McNeill, "but I think he may need another. We're gutted today but I think we've got a good horse, because it's difficult to give weight away in soft ground."

Unlucky losers do not always get the recompense they perhaps should, but the King team can take some heart from the justice earned by Glens Boy in the three-mile handicap chase later in the afternoon.

On his previous run, the gelding had been victim of a bizarre ill-fortune, when hampered close to the line by a loose horse who had wandered the wrong way down the track. This time his run to the post was both conventional and successful, albeit narrowly.

Two former Festival heroes, reinvented as hunter chasers, dominated yesterday's Newbury finale. Chapoturgeon mocked his handicap mark to take the Jewson Novices' Chase three years ago and the eight-year-old proved a class apart again yesterday as he eased home 16 lengths clear of the 2007 Kim Muir winner Cloudy Lane to give rider Jack Barber his first success under Rules.

The field for the Champion Hurdle took its initial shape yesterday, with no surprise omissions among the 27 entries. The favourite and reigning champion, Hurricane Fly, is scheduled to make his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown on Sunday week.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Dualla Lord (1.20 Taunton) Multiple point-to-point winner who reverts to hurdles after falling in hot company on his chasing debut.

Next best

Eldred (2.10 Ludlow) Yet to race this term but promising as a novice and can continue his progress upped to three miles.

One to watch

Hakuna Matata (Brian Ellison) Better than on hurdling debut, when he was affected by breathing problems, since addressed.

Where the money's going

Coral have trimmed Al Ferof from 7-2 into 3-1 for the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones