Il Est Francais to make official move to Noel George

31 January 2023

French Champion Hurdle aim for unbeaten runner.

Exciting unbeaten hurdler Il Est Francais will officially switch trainers in the next two weeks and be aimed at the French Champion Hurdle.

Running under Tom George’s name, the Richard Kelvin-Hughes and Haras De Saint-Voir co-owned five-year-old is unbeaten in four starts over hurdles in France and is one of the most promising horses seen there in years.

He will now run under Noel George’s name, with Tom’s son about to finish his training modules and be accorded a full licence at the family’s satellite yard at Chantilly.

Tom George said: “I think the plan is, from what Noel has told me, he will run under his name in a couple of weeks’ time when he gets his licence, and he will run in a Group Three in France. Then he will have two runs before the French Champion Hurdle.

“He is busy away, Noel has a lot of horses over there, a lot of three-year-olds and older horses.

“It has been a very long three years getting there and it will mean I am a little quieter here, but then it will probably reap rewards further down the line.

“He has smart young horses. He has been saying to me, ‘we will look forward to that one one day or that one will be staying in France’.

“The good thing is that it has opened up whole new avenues. The whole point is we can win races there with horses who are badly handicapped here and it is all done on prize-money.

“We have so many more opportunities now. Something high in the handicap here, which hasn’t won any money for a bit, can go there.”


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