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CATWALK Sprinter Sacre is paraded during the Concours AQPS, held at Decize seven years ago
I'd rather stay in AQPS races for this year, but I hope we have a horse for the Prix du President next year.
We agreed to miss Cheltenham to have a crack at Punchestown's champion bumper and all was going swimmingly until four days before the race when we were informed he was ineligible because Ireland had not followed Britain in deeming that a French AQPS race equates to a bumper, but is a Flat race.
The four-year-old is trained by Nick Williams,whosaid:"He'sanAQPS horse, so he'll probably go for some AQPS hurdles in France in theautumnandhe'llthengochasing.
Cercy La Tour, in the Burgundy region of the Nievre, is famous in French racing as the home of the AQPS (Autre Que Pur-Sang) jumper.
During an absorbing debate, RTE presenter and breeder Robert Hall hit on a key issue, France's system of offering opportunities for AQPS mares, saying: "They [the French] are teaching us a lesson - the majority of France's good jumpers are out of mares who have run in and won APQS bumpers.
He was always outstanding-looking and won champion two-year-old at the AQPS show at Decize in 2008.
However, both Wakhan and the Gordon Elliotttrained Experimentalist, who boasted a couple of respectable placed runs over hurdles, were available at double-figure odds, and Tobar Na Gaoise was an easy to-back second favourite, all this in the face of massive confidence behind Ut De Sivola who had run just once on the Flat, finishing second in a nine-runner 1m4f AQPS (non-thoroughbred) event at Vichy in May.
He won two AQPS Flat races for the same owner and trainer and will also race for Judy Wilson.
The early days Bred by Pierre Rives in Allier, France in 2004 from his six-time winner Vega IV, the daughter of Robin Des Champs was purchased as a two-year-old by foie gras mogul Jean Biraben at the AQPS show in the historic Burgundy town of Decize and put in training with Pau-based Bertrand de Watrigant.
Popular with AQPS breeders, Alberto Giacometti's first two crops - now four- and five-yearolds - number 82 foals, of whom 18 have won races.
Although Roi Du Mee won an AQPS bumper in France on a left-handed track he has yet to race that way in 11 starts in Ireland, which is worrying, and this is going to be a different test for him over jumps.
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