Philip Hobbs’ Thyme Hill stays on track for the Howden Lengthy Stroll Hurdle at Ascot after his disappointing run within the Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil.
The seven-year-old is without doubt one of the main lights within the staying hurdle division, profitable the Lengthy Distance Hurdle at Newbury final time period earlier than coming dwelling only a neck behind Paisley Park within the Grade One Lengthy Stroll on his subsequent outing.
A setback forward of the Cheltenham Pageant dominated him out of the Stayers’ Hurdle there, however a top-level victory adopted in Aintree’s Grade One three-miler, the place he defeated Dan Skelton’s Roksana by a neck.
The gelding then returned to motion within the Grade One Grand Prix d’Automne at Auteuil on November 7, the enchantment of the race partly being the €150,000 prize on provide to the winner.
Thyme Hill didn’t appear to the take to the duty in France, nevertheless, discovering issue within the heavy going and ultimately ending fifth of seven runners when 41 and 1 / 4 lengths behind the winner Galop Marin.
“The bottom was in all probability the probably cause he disillusioned,” mentioned Hobbs.
“There are a couple of completely different potentialities as to why, with the completely different hurdles and the travelling over there.
“He appears to manage effectively with the leaping and he travelled over there all proper, so I do not actually suppose that was the issue.”
Regardless of a lower than supreme begin to his marketing campaign, Thyme Hill will revert to the Grade One staying hurdles route, starting at Ascot on December 18 and dealing in direction of Cheltenham and Aintree within the spring.
“He appears to have recovered from the race in France very effectively,” Hobbs mentioned.
“We’re very a lot on track for the Lengthy Stroll Hurdle at Ascot.”