Grand Sancy continued a fantastic season for his sire Diamond Boy when taking the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday.
Paul Nicholls’ progressive five-year-old was last seen in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle, in which he was beaten just half a length into second. That performance gave connections the confidence to pitch him against his elders, leaving Grand Sancy the sole novice in the five horse field on Saturday.
Ridden to track the leaders by Harry Skelton, the bay improve to lead at the second last and showed a game attitude to fight off continuous challenges, knuckling down to the line, where he prevailed by three parts of a length. The favourite and previous Grade 1 winner Sceau Royal was relegated to runners-up honours, half a length in front of the talented Vision Des Flos.
Megan Nicholls represented her father and later commented, “That was a proper performance from both horse and jockey as they both showed that grit and determination all the way up the straight to win. Grand Sancy is a real streetwise and hardy type who takes his racing really well. The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham will be his next stop as this would have put him spot on for that.”
Grand Sancy is now generally 14-1 for the Supreme, with Nicholls adding, “Harry has come back and said that he really wants a faster pace to be seen at his best, and there’s no doubt he will get just that at Cheltenham as they certainly do not hang about in that race.”
Grand Sancy always delivers for owners Martin Broughton Racing Partners, having won of been places in nine of his 13 starts. Bred by Dr Vet Brigitte Poulve, he is the first foal out of the mare, herself a winner over hurdles and fences.