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Slow learner Grand Rouge in distance test

Terry Robinson isn’t sure if Grand Rouge will ever work out he is a racehorse, but the trainer says a more consistent preparation has put him in good stead for the Country Classic.

Robinson has previously called the gelding the dumbest horse he has ever trained.

But with three wins from his past eight starts under his belt, Robinson is hoping Grand Rouge can put his best hoof forward over 2000m at Rosehill.

“I am looking forward to the race on Saturday,” Robinson said.

“He normally puts himself into a handy position so if he can run the journey, I think he will run a very good race.”

Grand Rouge won a Highway race at Randwick in September, outgunning favourite Galaxy Warrior in the final 100m to win by a half length.

“He has had a few runs under his belt this preparation so if he is going to run 2000 metres, he is going to run it now,” he said.

Robinson’s wife Monique, a former trainer, picked out Grand Rouge at a yearling sale where they paid $67,000 for him.

He said the six-year-old had the ability to win more races but still needed time to grow up.

“Some horses just take a while to mature and thank God it looks like he is starting to put it together,” he said.

“He has certainly been more consistent this preparation so even next year, he might be a bit more mature and seasoned.”

Peter Wells rode Grand Rouge in one of his first starts and will again steer the gelding in Saturday’s race.

Robinson said he would let Wells decide where Grand Rouge would settle in the race but expected him to jump well from the barriers.

“He normally begins good but I will leave it up to Peter to ride it as he sees it,,” he said.

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