BIG RACE PREVIEW – BELGIAN GRAND NATIONAL
QUINTON BIDS TO RECLAIM CROWN
Written on 26/08/23 by Darren Thrussell – email@example.com
AFTER missing out on a twelfth consecutive win in the Belgian Grand National, the ING Grote Steeplechase van Vlaanderen, last year, trainer Patrice Quinton is back with a vengeance in an attempt to win the 2023 renewal of the famous race taking place at Waregem on Tuesday.
Having won eleven consecutive editions of the race, Quinton‘s domination ended last year when the best of his four runners, Premier Vert, could only finish second to the François Nicolle-trained POLINUIT, who defends his crown on Tuesday. Winner of a hurdle race at Pompadour last time, Polinuit faces six rivals in the 80,000 Euro contest, five of whom hail from the Quinton stable.
HECLYPSE ROSE leads the Quinton charge, having finished third in this race last year at the age of only five. However, the Bathyrhon gelding hasn’t run since then, whereas IKERO BLUE comes into this race in fine form, having won on the flat at Royan earlier this month.
DREAMMY LOVE and GENERAL DESJY were first and second respectively in a novice chase at this meeting last year, and both have tasted success this term. Dreammy Love landed a steeplechase at Corlay last time out, while General Desjy came from last to first when winning a Dieppe chase last month.
However, the best of the Quinton quintet could well be COTE FLEURIE, who beat some very useful rivals when winning two cross country races at Compiegne back in the spring. Last time out, Cote Fleurie contested the Listed Anjou Loire Challenge at Le Lion d’Angers, which at 7300 metres is believed to be the longest steeplechase in the world. Despite the race being halted and restarted halfway through due to a piece of railing being wrongly positioned on the course, Cote Fleurie ran a really fine race to finish fourth, and having his first race for Quinton on Tuesday after leaving David Cottin’s yard. Cote Fleurie could well be the one to beat here.
The all French-trained field is completed by the seven year old mare GRIVETTA, who represents owner-trainer Regis Bertin. Having been off the track for nine months before reappearing when finishing third is a chase at Questembert last month, Grivetta has done most of her racing at small provincial courses in northern France, and faces a step up in class here.
SELECTION: COTE FLEURIE
The race is due off at 3:25 pm UK time / 16:25 CET, and can be seen here: https://www.focus-wtv.be/live
Photo: Horses jump what is believed to be the widest water jump in the world, the Gaverbeek, in the 2008 Belgian Grand National, the ING Grote Steeplechase van Vlaanderen. This year’s renewal of the famous race takes place at Waregem on Tuesday (Photo copyright Darren Thrussell / Anglo German Racing).