Grandouet (left): could have a racecourse gallop before CheltenhamPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Grandouet misses prep
but on course for Festival
GRANDOUET will miss the Grade 2 Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday and head straight to the Champion Hurdle with the ground, and not an injury revealed earlier this week, the reason for his absence.
Owned by Simon Munir, Grandouet was briefly removed from the betting for the Stan James Champion Hurdle on Tuesday with doubts surrounding his participation at the Cheltenham Festival.
Trainer Nicky Henderson quickly quashed talk of the six-year-old missing Cheltenham although he did say that filling had been found in the gelding's near-fore which could rule him out of his intended prep race.
With his absence confirmed, Grandouet will now follow the same pre-Cheltenham preparation as his high-profile stablemates Bobs Worth, Simonsig, Long Run, Binocular, Rolling Star and Riverside Theatre by having a racecourse gallop.
Henderson said on Thursday: "The filling in Grandouet's near fore has dispersed as we had hoped with exercise and is now negligible.
Khyber Kim: runs at WincantonPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
"However, in view of the likelihood of very testing conditions at Wincanton and the fact that his training for this race has obviously been interrupted, we have all decided to forego a prep race and train him at home without a run before the Champion Hurdle.
"If it was the Champion Hurdle this weekend, he would be able to run but we feel under the circumstances a tough race in the ground would not be ideal and, like many of our others - Long Run, Bobs Worth, Simonsig, Rolling Star, Binocular, Riverside Theatre - will have a racecourse gallop between now and then. He is fit and well and, dare I say, fancied."
Henderson will instead be represented by Khyber Kim at Wincanton and the trainer added: "Khyber Kim will be running in the Kingwell after a lengthy absence but he seems in very good order. He will undoubtedly come on for the race but is in great shape."