Andy Edwards, fresh from Grade One glory at Cheltenham with L’Homme Presse, is hoping Fautinette can spring a surprise on her British debut when she runs in the Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree on Thursday.
Like Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase winner L’Homme Presse, Fautinette is trained by Venetia Williams, who is pitching the filly into top-class company for her first outing.
Having won all three of her races in France for 14-time French Champion trainer Guillaume Macaire and Hector de Lageneste, her co-owner sent her to the Herefordshire-based yard in the autumn.
Although she will be in receipt of a 7lb mares’ allowance, she will make her belated debut in one of the hottest juvenile hurdles of the season.
Edwards explained: “I bought her out of a yard as a young horse from Pau, in Southwest France.
“She was just starting out, doing some baby schooling. I noticed her and she wasn’t actually for sale, but I badgered the owner. They tried to send me other horses, but I said she was the one I wanted. I had to buy another one so I could buy her as well.”
He added: “I spotted something in her very early and she started early for us last year as a three-year-old. She worked nicely but surprised us the first time with the way she did it so easily (at Angouleme) and then it just got better and better.
“Her third race (at Vichy) was very good. So I put her away for the summer and brought her over to Venetia’s in November. She had a setback just before Christmas which knocked her back.
“Then she was one of the snotty-nosed bunch that Venetia told everyone about before Cheltenham and that set her back another couple of weeks.
“We always had this race in mind, but we would have ideally have liked to have got a prep run into her because of the setback she had.”
Though Gordon Elliott’s Triumph Hurdle third Pied Pier may have had a hard race at Cheltenham, he is currently odds-on with most firms.
With the likes of Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle winner Brazil, unbeaten Petit Tonnerre and triple Grade Two scorer Knight Salute also taking her on, Edwards knows Fautinette faces no easy task.
“It is not an ideal situation coming here first time out, and we could have probably done with one more week to get one more piece of work into her, but it is what it is,” he added.
“She is very well and she is fit and ready to go. What we do have on our hands is a fresh, juvenile horse with lots of experience.
“We are looking forward to a good run. It is going to be very hard to beat the two Irish horses, but we are hopeful of a place and we have the allowance, which helps.”