Garde La Victoire set to return over hurdles this weekend

Garde La Victoire fell when the 4-1 co-favourite in the JLT Novices’ Chase

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

 By Alex Wiltshire 7:15aM 11 OCT 2016 

GARDE LA VICTOIRE, who was sent off 4-1 co-favourite for last season’s JLT Novices’ Chase, is ready to make his seasonal reappearance this weekend, albeit back over hurdles in either the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on Saturday or at Kempton on Sunday.

The Philip Hobbs-trained seven-year-old fell on his last two starts, including in the JLT, and connections are hoping a spin over hurdles will help him regain his zest.

Owner Diana Whateley said on Monday: “It’s not especially the plan to stay over hurdles. It was an idea to run him back over hurdles as he’s ready to run and has performed well over hurdles before. It may be a good attempt to get his confidence back.

“Where he’ll go depends on the ground and we’ll leave that to Philip’s discretion. He wants it better than soft.”

Should Garde La Victoire make the trip to Kempton he could face the Nicky Henderson-trained My Tent Or Yours, who after a near two-year absence finished second to Annie Power in last season’s Champion Hurdle.

My Tent Or Yours’ stablemate Hargam holds entries for both the Welsh Champion Hurdle and Kempton after finishing third behind Ivan Grozny at Tipperary earlier this month.

Johnson impressed with Kasbah

Whateley will be hoping last weekend’s success at Chepstow can continue after both Wishfull Dreaming and Rock The Kasbah hit the target.

In his Betway blog, jockey Richard Johnson said: “Rock The Kasbah jumped really well and travelled nicely. It was a pretty hot race.

“There’s no real need to go three miles yet, although I’m sure that’s where he’ll end up eventually. He was a 150-rated hurdler, so hopefully he can turn into a Graded chaser.”

The New One is an even higher-rated hurdler set to go chasing and he could make his debut over fences, with trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies giving him an entry at Market Rasen on Saturday. Kingwell Hurdle winner Blue Heron has been entered for the same race by Dan Skelton.

Twiston-Davies said: “The race is a definite thought but at the moment we’re just looking. The problem is the weather gets weirder and weirder. Why are we having summer now? What we need now is some rain.”

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