French Cape Crusade For Jefferson
French Cape Crusade For Jefferson
Sporting Life

Cape Tribulation

Trainer Malcolm Jefferson has confirmed Cape Tribulation on target for Sunday’s French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil.

The eight-year-old won valuable handicap hurdles at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals this spring, and was last seen finishing sixth on the Flat at York’s Dante meeting.

He will step up in grade this weekend to tackle a strong field in France, with perhaps his biggest threats hailing from the Willie Mullins yard, including last year’s winner, Thousand Stars.

“He’s an intended runner at the moment. He looks great and he’s in great form,” said Jefferson.

“He ran well enough at York, but I think it would have been better for him if it had been a week earlier as he would have preferred softer ground.

“I also think he’s a horse who is better for knowing and if Jimmy (Fortune) had ridden him before he might run a bit better.

“He’s been in great form since then and I think the ground is soft to heavy in France, so he’ll be happy enough on that.

“It’s worth having a go for the sort of money that’s being put up.

“We’ll give it a go and then after Sunday he’ll have a break.”

Jefferson is also considering sending his charge back over fences later in the year.

“I’ll have a chat with the owner, but it’s in the back of my mind that he could go back chasing in the autumn,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“With his rating over hurdles, he’d end up running up the backside of Big Buck’s and I don’t see much point in doing that.

“He could start off in something like the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby as there won’t be many runners.”

Thousand Stars is, along with Zaidpour and Mourad, one of three Mullins-trained entries in Sunday’s Grande Course’de Haies’d’Auteuil.

Sixteen contenders have stood their ground following the latest forfeit stage, including the Michael Scudamore-trained Saphir River.

View the original article over at Sporting Life

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