Monday 02 November 2020On Saturday 31 October, Calva D’Auge finished last of six in the 3.27 at Ayr, the Scottish Champion Hurdle Trial Handicap Hurdle over 2m. Calva D’Auge jumped off in a share of the lead under Lorcan Williams (who claimed 3lbs) and travelled well. Compared to last season, he jumped with much more fluency and enjoyed racing near the lead. Calva D’Auge came under pressure entering the home bend, and lost ground around the bend, despite racing on the inside of the course. Calva D’Auge weakened in the home straight to finish last of the six runners.
After the race, Lorcan said Calva D’Auge didn’t appreciate the heavy ground, which was drying out, becoming very tacky and testing. Lorcan said he jumped and travelled well initially, but he faded quite quickly turning in. Paul Nicholls wonders whether long journeys take too much out of Calva' D'Auge, as he has sent him to Scotland on two occasions with a good chance on paper (Kelso on 29 February was the last time), and he has run below par. Paul thinks we should target races closer to home with him, as he is a very enthusiastic horse who tries very hard, and perhaps staying away from home doesn't suit him.
Our View: This run was too bad to be true, and we agree with Paul that staying away overnight, following a long journey, does not seem to bring out the best in Calva D’Auge. He is a very genuine horse who has never jumped as well through a race as this before, which was good to see. We hope he can be freshened up and Paul can find another handicap hurdle for him nearer to home in the near future.