Lord Du Mesnil's Auteuil ambition

Improving chaser will have Aintree entry but may wait till next year.

  • Thursday 02 January
  • News
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Richard Hobson has the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris as a possible option for Lord Du Mesnil, after the in-form chaser completed a hat-trick inside a month at Haydock.

Hobson did not initially plan to run Lord Du Mesnil on Monday, but the horse was so well after winning the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase just nine days earlier he sent him back to Merseyside for the Last Fling Handicap Chase.

Making most of the running, Lord Du Mesnil ran out a convincing winner and has been transformed following a summer holiday, with his first success of three having come at Newcastle.

The in-form Cotswolds trainer’s Defi Sacre also racked up a quick hat-trick in handicap chases last month, and he said of Lord Du Mesnil: “It’s fantastic, really good.

“He’s come back from a summer break – and since he got his head in front, he’s been a different horse.

“He’s A1. He’s been out in the field with Defi Sacre. Both are entitled to a little break, after winning three each in the last four weeks.”

Lord Du Mesnil has been mentioned in dispatches for this season’s Grand National, and Hobson confirmed he will be entered but is more likely to wait another year.

“He’s open to options,” he said.

“I re-scheduled him – he only went to The Last Fling because he was in such good order after the Tommy Whittle, so I thought we’d go again.

“The biggest option for me this year is the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in May.

“As regards the Aintree fences, I’d rather run him in the Becher in December next season for him to get a feel of the fences over a shorter trip and on ground that will be appealing to him.

“He’s horse who’s progressing now.”

Conditions would need to be unusually testing at Aintree this spring to tempt Hobson into this year’s National with Lord Du Mesnil.

He added of the seven-year-old: “He’ll have an entry in the Grand National, but unless it was really bottomless ground I think we’d probably avoid it.

“But never say never.

“He’ll get all those entries – we’ll see how the horse is and go from there.

“One step at a time – he’s over-achieved already this season. He’s a very good horse, and we need to respect that.

“He’s got so many options. We just need to ensure his well-being and he gets his ground wherever he goes. That is key. There’s no point going racing unless he gets his ground.”

Defi Sacre’s hat-trick came in a slightly shorter timespan, with two wins at Newbury and one at Musselburgh. He is set to return to the Edinburgh track for bet365 Scottish Trials Day on February 1.

“It was a great performance at Newbury on Saturday,” said Hobson.

“I hope he can step up again, with a bit of luck.

“He will probably head to Musselburgh, all being well, for one of the races there – probably a two-miler.”

Chic Name could be bound for the Edinburgh National on the same card, having finished third and fourth in two cross-country chases at Cheltenham.

Hobson said: “He’s been placed in two cross-country chases and been the best of the British on ground he absolutely hates, so he’ll go nice and fresh for the Edinburgh National.”

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