RACING: Delay on Grumeti return

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Alan King with Grumeti (left) Alan King with Grumeti (left)

ALAN King's Grumeti will be a little later than some of his stablemates to return to the racecourse this season.

After a promising career on the Flat, the Max McNeill-owned gelding became one of the very best juvenile hurdlers around, winning Grade Two races at Kempton and Cheltenham, finishing a close third to Countrywide Flame in the Triumph Hurdle and going on to reverse placings at Aintree.

Grumeti, trained by Barbury Castle handler King, was last seen running well on the level again at the end of May.

McNeill said: "He ran on the Flat and then just had a bit of a niggle which put him behind. He's going to be back in the new year."

McNeill, who has bought a number of good juvenile hurdlers off the Flat including Mille Chief and Walkon, could have found his latest star in Handazan.

Rated in the 90s with John Oxx in Ireland, he was beaten by last weekend's impressive Cheltenham winner Far West at Chepstow but went on to score at Aintree.

"He's very exciting and our next big day with him is going to be in the Finale Hurdle back at Chepstow," McNeill said.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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