Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle | 2m | 4yo | RTV
Trainer Alan King sends Fret D’Estruval to the Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle at Huntingdon hoping his latest juvenile prospect can emulate high-class stablemate Sceau Royal, the 2016 winner.
Fret D'Estruval, owned like Sceau Royal by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, finished fifth at Cheltenham last month on his British debut after winning twice for Guillaume Macaire in France.
King, whose Master Blueyes finished a neck second in 2017, hopes to see significant improvement in this five-runner contest.
“I’m hoping for much better,” the trainer said. “He was a dual winner in France but disappointed on his first run for me at Cheltenham. Although we could find nothing wrong with him afterwards, I’m sure he’s better than that – but he’s got to prove it on the track.”
Fret D’Estruval has joint top weight with his Gary Moore-trained rival Beat The Judge, carrying 11st 6lb in the £25,000 contest.
Beat The Judge made a dream debut for Moore last month when beating Chaparral Prince by a length and a half over two miles.
Previously trained by Ed Vaughan, the son of Canford Cliffs raced five times on the Flat and his turn of foot showed in the closing stages at Kempton as he pulled away.
“His first run was excellent,” said Moore, who last won this race with Chris Pea Green in 2013. “Hopefully the flat, sharp track at Huntingdon will suit him again. He can improve for his first run and should give a good account of himself.”
The Charlie Mann-trained Prabeni finished third behind Beat The Judge at Kempton but is 8lb better off and his trainer expects a closer finish this time.
“His jumping wasn’t great early on at Kempton and he lost his place a little bit,” said Mann. “This is a weak race for the prize-money and he gets in off 10st 12lb.
“He’s schooled quite a bit since and has jumped really well. He’s only had one run for us, but he should be a lot closer as he’s a bit more streetwise.”
Prabeni is another Flat graduate, having raced six times for William Haggas, and won at Ripon on his last outing before moving to Mann in December.
Spectaculis makes his first start for Denis Quinn, having run twice on the Flat without showing much.
The trainer said: “We’re boxing above our weight and I wasn’t going to run him, but when I saw only four or five declared we went for the prize-money. He’s a nice, genuine horse and we’re looking forward to his first run for us.”