In the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown, Metier pulled clear of his rivals to become a Grade One winner and looks exciting for his connections.
In the middle of the field, Metier settled well – a change of tactics from his previous success at Ascot – and easily overtook pacesetter Shakem Up’arry in the home straight to win at odds of 7-4 by 12 lengths. Certainly, the Cheltenham Festival is on the wish list of trainer Harry Fry of Metier, who scored a double on the card.
One firm for the Festival’s opening race, the Supreme Novice Hurdle, instantly downgraded Metier from 25 to 10-1.
With outsider Tile Tapper seventh, Shakem Up’arry stayed sullenly in second place. Galice Macalo, the favorite, squandered her chance by failing to settle on the hard ground.
Fry reported that Metier was up for grabs for both the Supreme and the longer Ballymore of the Festival, indicating that if the horse were to take his chance at the Supreme, soft ground would be needed.
Meanwhile, the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury next month seems a possible destination.
Since he moved to a new stable in West Dorset last summer, it has been an important first Grade One win for Fry.