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Pau Opens Doors for Winter Meeting

01 December 2015

As the Auteuil meeting drew to a close last Sunday, so the winter meeting at Pau, in the south west of France, gets under way tomorrow with an eight-race card.

Toutancarmont headed up the list on the first day in 2014 and will line up again on Thursday. Highly fancied for last year’s Listed Grand Cross de Pau, one of the highlights of the meeting, he was an unfortunate faller but is expected to follow the same route once again this time. Also due to make an early return to the Pyrenean track is last year’s winner Feu Croisé who romped home on his return last month and, according to owner-trainer Hervé Audoy, is in fine form and set for the challenges ahead. The Grand Cross takes place on 7th February.

The other highlight of the meeting is the Grand Steeple-Chase de Pau (24th January), a tough G.III run over 5300m (3m2¼f). Last year’s winner Vent Sombre, who recently triumphed in the G.II Grand Steeple-Chase d'Enghien, will attempt the double but is likely to carry considerable weight. Trainer Guy Cherel is expected to give him just the one prep race, the Listed Prix Renaud du Vivier, an event he conquered by an impressive 18 lengths, carrying 72kg.

The Pau winter meeting comprises 28 racedays, incorporating both flat and national hunt, and terminates on 21st February.