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    Il Est Francais Sets Sights on French Gold Cup
Il Est Francais Sets Sights on French Gold Cup

Il Est Francais Sets Sights on French Gold Cup

Noel George Prioritizes French Gold Cup Over Cheltenham

Trainer Noel George, in partnership with Amanda Zetterholm, has confirmed their focus on the French Gold Cup with their rising star, Il Est Francais. Despite a commanding victory in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton, the team has decided to bypass this season's Cheltenham Festival.

Impressive Performance at Kempton

Il Est Francais showcased his exceptional talent at Kempton on Boxing Day, leading the race from start to finish under James Reveley. Esteemed competitors like Hermes Allen and Giovinco were left behind, emphasizing Il Est Francais' dominance.

Strategy and Future Plans

George praised Il Est Francais for his versatility and comfort in leading the pack, suggesting that the horse could quickly adapt to different racing styles. The focus, however, remains on the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris this spring rather than participating in Cheltenham.

Trainer highlighted the importance of managing the horse's training schedule, aiming to have Il Est Francais in peak condition for the French Gold Cup. He expressed reluctance to keep the horse in full training for nearly a year, which would be necessary for a Cheltenham run followed by the French Gold Cup.

Long-Term Ambitions

The team sees a bright future for Il Est Francais, who is just turning six. George mentioned King George as a potential target in England, indicating no rush in the horse's progression. Co-owners Richard Kelvin-Hughes and Nicolas Lageneste have aspirations for both the Cheltenham and French Gold Cups, and George is hopeful of eventually fulfilling these dreams.

In conclusion, Il Est Francais has made a significant impression with his performance at Kempton, but his team is strategically focusing on the French Gold Cup. They aim to bring out the best in this promising young chaser in the coming seasons with careful planning and management.

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