Robert Thornton is no hurry choose between Grumeti and Balder Succes as his JCB Triumph Hurdle mount.
Thornton, who has won the race twice for trainer Alan King with Penzance (2005) and Katchit (2007), has partnered both of this year’s hopefuls to victory.
He enjoyed a success on Grumeti at Kempton on Saturday having teamed up with Balder Succes at Ascot a week earlier.
“He (Grumeti) has everything you look for in a Triumph horse, and I would not think that there is a tougher four-year-old physically anywhere in the country,” the jockey told www.alankingracing.co.uk.
“He is so strong for one so young and reminds me of Penzance who won the Triumph for us a few years ago, but he is a stuffy individual and I think he could improve again on what he showed there.
“However, I am not yet going to commit myself to Grumeti as we also have Balder Succes, and a lot can happen in two and a half weeks.
“Balder Succes is the more rangy of the two, taller with less about him. His future is next season because, while he has loads of talent, he also has a lot of strengthening up to do and he can still be a bit gassy.
“Remember, Balder Succes never ran on the Flat, whereas Grumeti is street-wise from two seasons with Sir Mark Prescott – they are two lovely horses and we are lucky to have them.”
King was pleased Thornton was able to ride Grumeti after missing his three other outings due to injury.
“It was good for ‘Choc’ (Thornton) to get a feel of Grumeti on the track, and I thought he jumped super,” said King.
“I have not seen anything else that I would swap Grumeti for in the Triumph, and, with last week’s Ascot winner Balder Succes also going for the race, we have two live contenders going there.”