From the same source as Apples Jade, Apples Shakira, Delta Work, Grand Crus and dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo.
Purchased at the Arqana Autumn sale, we are delighted to be sending Paul Nicholls, this son of the late great sire NETWORK, who sired the legendary SPRINTER SACRE and sadly died in the summer of 2019: https://www.racingpost.com/bloodstock/sprinter-sacres-sire-network-dies-aged-22/389682.
Following a month’s laborious study of over 247 available NH prospects, our National Hunt manager, Tom Palin decided to target just 2 horses from the Arqana November Sale 2019. His nap, the 4yo Network gelding, GLAJOU happened to be the first of the two horses to be presented for sale, but given this horse’s size (16.3hh), scope and form in the book, we feared that our budget of circa €100,000 would not be enough. You can imagine our delight when a bid of €90,000 was sufficient to see off the Highflyer Bloodstock team, who were in attendance from the UK. GLAJOU arrives at Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat yard, rather like Cyrname, Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon, with significant French form under his belt, having finished 3rd in his two 3yo hurdles, to date, both on testing ground.
On hurdles debut, he was put to sleep out the back, many, many lengths off the pace, seemingly there for education purposes alone. Jumping for fun, throughout the race, he swooped around the field as they turned for home, but couldn’t quite get to the leaders, who quickened from the front in the straight. In his second run, he was ridden much more handily, again jumping with commensurate, slick efficiency, he looked likely to win as they approached the last, before a combination of youth, inexperience and the testing ground that day, just saw him run out of it on the run in, into 3rd.
Being by the mighty Network, whose progeny are renowned for improving no end, with time, and given Glajou stands at whopping 16.3hh, he’s performed exceedingly well at this nascent stage of his career. He’s such an elegant horse with fantastic depth to him and an amazing length and scope for future progress and development; he’s still a shell of the horse, that he will eventually make up into. He’s already running to a mark of around 130 over hurdles, from just two attempts over the smaller obstacles, both incidentally over the minimum distance, so who knows where he could end up, once tackling his preferred discipline of chasing.
He’s absolutely tailor made for chasing, almost exclusively on looks, you could suggest, so anything he achieves for us this year over hurdles will be a mighty bonus. He was Paul’s ‘nap’ of the horses we were looking at, together, at this sale and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring him home to Paul’s, Somerset base. We’d been led to believe he could make a whole heap more than the €90,000 we’ve had to give to secure him, and given the underbidders were the renowned, shrewd judges Highflyer Bloodstock, ourselves and French agents Peter and Toby Jones, feel confident we’ve secured a real bargain here.
It’s anyone’s guess how good Glajou could be, once facing the larger obstacles, in time, but given our horse’s physique and the jumping adeptness shown by Network’s other progeny, typified by Sprinter Sacre, no less, it’s safe to assume that there really could be no limit to the heights this fellow could scale over fences, as he matures fully, into his huge, yet distinctly elegant, frame.
Watch his two latest race videos here: https://www.arqana.com/equidiavideo/index.php?horse=GLAJOU.(BLACKO, who beat Glajou by a length in his latest race in France came over to join Alan King and went on to win two back to back Juvenile Hurdle races.)
We have added a video in the gallery of him, which was taken at our latest owners stable visit, where you can hear Paul talking about him.
Syndicate manager update (April 2020): A big, strapping, chasing type, who ran too free on GB debut. Has some excellent French form in the book, having been placed 3rd on two occasions, to date. Paul adores him and we can’t wait to see him over fences in the Autumn. He’ll run once or twice more this season, and on better ground, we expect to see a different horse next time out; his French form suggests so, anyway.