Antoine Griezmann eyeing Easter Classic glory at Newcastle with Hooking

Antoine Griezmann eyeing Easter Classic glory at Newcastle with Hooking

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is set for a first British runner at Newcastle on Friday as Hooking is declared for the BetUK All-Weather Easter Classic Middle Distance Handicap, live on Sky Sports Racing.

The eight-year-old has blossomed in the last couple of seasons and will arrive at Gosforth Park on the back of two wins at Listed level at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in France, having been declared for the contest on Wednesday..

Not only will he be Griezmann’s first runner as an owner in the UK, he will also be the first for trainer Philippe Decouz.

Griezmann, who became one of the most expensive football transfers of all time when he left Atletico Madrid to join Barcelona for €120m in 2019 before moving back to Madrid, took his first steps into ownership with Hooking in 2017 and has stayed for the full journey.

Decouz said: “Hooking is in top form. The race at Newcastle was a logical choice following his winter program. He doesn’t go on heavy ground and so there is not a race for him in France at the moment. This race at Newcastle is a handicap and the timing is perfect.

“His preparation has gone smoothly and he will be running on his preferred surface and distance. We are hoping there will be pace in the race. This is a first runner in the UK for his owner Antoine Griezmann and also for me. It is a great challenge.

French raiders boast an impressive strike rate on All-Weather Finals Day, amassing six winners from 26 runners, with this contest the only one to have eluded them thus far.

Watch all the action on All Weather Championship Finals Day from Newcastle on Sky Sports Racing from 12.30pm Friday and also stream with NOW.

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