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Last Updated: 10/12/11 6:57pm
Grandouet (middle): Classy winner
Grandouet was a super winner of the StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.
The 5/2 joint-favourite travelled well throughout the two-mile-one-furlong contest and found more off the bridle when Barry Geraghty asked him to quicken.
Nicky Henderson's charge won by four lengths in the end from the consistent Overturn, who was a neck clear of Brampour in third.
Geraghty said: "I was just trapped a little wide two out, I had to switch and thankfully had room.
"I knew he'd travel and take me there. I didn't want to get there as soon as I did, but he battled well.
"He improved all through last year and he's better than your average four-year-old going five-year-old I'd say. He's improved an awful lot since last year.
"He travelled brilliantly, you don't see horses travelling much easier than that going to the last. He's very good. I never had any doubts (about going up the hill)."
Henderson said: "Today was all about finding out if he could cope with the stiff hill. He's stronger than last year, but you always thinks four-year-olds are going to struggle.
"We had to come here to see if he's a Cheltenham horse rather than wait for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, which would have been the obvious thing to do with a speed horse."
Henderson added: "I'm not tempted by the Christmas Hurdle, I think I'll give him a bit off time off and he'll have one race before the Champion Hurdle somewhere.
"Spirit Son will have a run after Christmas and Binocular is going for the Christmas Hurdle."
Donald McCain said of Overturn: "It was his third run in a month, and also I think the ground was a bit dead for him today.
"I'm not going to make any decisions about what we will do with him now, but we know where he'll end up in March (Champion Hurdle.)."
Philip Hobbs said of fourth home Menorah: "He'd had a bit of an infected foot and had only done two serious bits of work, Richard (Johnson) felt he needed the run.
"However, that wasn't a Champion Hurdle performance and we will probably go back chasing with him."
Sky Bet go 6/1 from 12s about the winner for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.