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Thundering Blue tackling heatwave and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud rivals on Sunday

Temperatures in France this week are set to be red hot, but trainer David Menuisier is hoping Thundering Blue can keep his cool and put the freeze on his Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud rivals on Sunday.

France Galop postponed Tuesday's meeting at Auteuil for a week due to "exceptional weather" and Paris could bake with highs nearing 40c.

Menuisier, however, is relaxed about conditions and is eagerly anticipating running his stable star, who was last seen finishing a creditable third in a Listed race at Goodwood five weeks ago.

He said on Tuesday: "The plan is to run. I haven't heard about any problems because of the weather, but I did see it could be 38/39c.

"We'll play it by ear but we might travel in the evening when the weather is a bit cooler and take it from there.

"I didn't realise about Auteuil, but at Royal Ascot two years ago it was stifling and they still went on."

Owned by the colourful and enthusiastic Clive Washbourn, Thundering Blue took his form to a new level last year when winning the Group 2 York Stakes and finishing a cracking third in the Juddmonte International on the Knavesmire.

He then won a Group 3 in Sweden before a fine second in the Grade 1 Canadian International.

Britain's last five Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winners

2014 Noble Mission*
2009 Spanish Moon
2008 Youmzain
2007 Mountain High
2005 Alkaased

*awarded race after Spiritjim subsequently tested positive for a banned substance

"He's fine and I think he's come on from his Goodwood run," added Menuisier, who was born in Lorraine in north-east France.

"He seems in really good condition, so fingers crossed. I think Sean Levey will ride. He rode him at Goodwood last time and we'll leave him on.

"Thundering Blue is more flexible now with ground than he was in the past and the French don't usually let the ground dry out too much.

"I'm pretty sure they'll water an awful lot to keep the ground very safe, which is the main thing. I'd be surprised if the ground was rattling."

The trainer, who is based in Pulborough in West Sussex, continued: "There is a forfeit stage tomorrow, but I don't expect many runners because most of them have run at Ascot last week and a few are also entered in Ireland this week.

"I hope there's enough pace and we'll take it from there. Regardless of the result he will make us proud – that's what he's been doing the last couple of years. Win, lose or draw we'll be proud of him."

 

 

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