Harry Whittington’s Oxfordshire yard is charged with looking after our own horse, but that burden aside, he has been in flying form this season resuming a sharp upward trajectory that was briefly broken last season by a spell of stable-wide doldrums.
The growing pains of a big new racing barn upset the equilibrium for a short while, but that may have left some of the horses well handicapped.
The yard has been bouncing again this season and we committed the fatal error of tipping against one of Harry’s earlier this week only to see it triumph at 12/1.
We don’t intend to commit that error again, and his Fou Et Sage can be expected to run well at Wincanton today (1250 GMT).
This horse is a prime test of Harry’s skills. A promising youngster in France he was highly tried in three hurdle races for Dan Skelton on his first spell in the UK including a Champion Hurdle trial. After failing to beat a rival in any of those runs he was quickly despatched back to France.
A chasing career in France yielded one win before being shipped back to Harry’s at the start of last season. After a couple of promising chasing runs his season ended early with injury. He returned this year over hurdles.
After a pipe-opener he ran next at Ascot. He was beaten 12l into 8th of 14. That may not sound too good, but the winner, Elgin, followed up in the big race last Sunday so it may have been a hot race. Fou Et Sage was held up well back but made a stylish move to the heels of the leaders 2 out before weakening late on.
That stealthy move, in that grade of company, was suggestive of a horse capable of more. A drop in grade and a drop in the weights leaves him looking enticingly rated for today’s longer trip, which around Wincanton could prove ideal.
Recommendation: Fou Et Sage (1250 Wincanton), 1pt win, 9/2 generally available
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