Unibet International Hurdle
|Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:00
2m 179y, Class 1
|Saturday 12th December 2020|
1 Song For Someone 6/1
2 Silver Streak 10/1
3 Ballyandy 14/1
10 ran Distances: nse, 2¾l, ½l
Time: 4m 8.67s (slow by 14.67s)
Trained by Tom Symonds, Song For Someone was dropping back in trip having won the Coral Hurdle last time out, but he had to dig deep on the run to the line.
Several hurdles were omitted due to low sun and there were plenty in with chances turning into the straight, but it was the chestnut under Aidan Coleman who continued on his winning streak.
Silver Streak, who was carried out by a loose horse in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle two weeks ago, finished with a wet sail under Adam Wedge, but he went down by just a nose to the 6-1 chance.
Goshen, the 6-4 favourite, had been keen throughout and got to the front coming down the hill, but faded out of contention quickly to be last.
Symonds said: “The lack of hurdles caused a real problem. He got out of rhythm early on and Aidan said he was very brave today.
“He did very well with no hurdles in the straight – as you saw at Ascot, when you are firing him at hurdles, that is when he is making ground, not on the flat.
“I’m delighted. For a horse to win three Grade Twos on the trot is a really big effort and he is only a five-year-old. He is just a fantastic horse to have.
“I’m thrilled for (owners) Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings, particularly Sir Peter, who is not well and has not been well for a long time. I can tell you the replays of the Kingwell Hurdle (in February) have definitely kept him going through lockdown, as he is in his own lockdown really at home.”
Symonds believes easy ground is key to Song For Someone’s potential Cheltenham or Aintree challenge.
He added: “It would need to be very soft for him to figure in one of those (Champion Hurdle or Aintree Hurdle).
“I’m not downing him, but I just wonder if he has the tactical speed in a Champion Hurdle. I was surprised he won a Kingwell in the nicest sense. We will live on today.
“We will see how we go, but I wonder if, on maybe softer ground, and even if it was better ground, two and a half at Aintree would suit him as we have seen with that race in general it suits horses that rock and roll.
“He is just a fabulous horse and I’m glad we didn’t go chasing.”
Coleman added: “I was in top gear most of the way, believe it or not. He has a fantastic attitude. He kept finding.
“Going around the last hurdle, he picked up again and he would have been an unlucky loser as he was just in front that little bit too long.
“I’m not sure if the old track in the Champion Hurdle would suit him, I’m not just saying because of Epatante or anything like that.
“He is maybe more of an Aintree horse. He has won three Grade Twos in his last three runs and he is ready to go up in company. He is a very admirable horse. A word for Tom Symonds as well, as he has done extremely well with him.”
Silver Streak’s trainer Evan Williams felt the omission of hurdles had detracted from the race.
He said: “We’ve got to do something about these obstacles coming out as it doesn’t enhance the spectacle. I’m not saying it’s cost us, what I’m saying is it has cost the sport. My horse got beat fair and square – that is racing.
“The ground is no excuse. He is better on faster ground, but the winner has won well. I never moan about getting beat. Our horse has run a great race and the winner has run a better race.
“We won’t go to Haydock as the ground won’t suit him. If the ground is OK, two weeks today we will be at Kempton to watch Nicky’s (Henderson) mare (Epatante) swoop by us going to the last and we will admire her backside and try to get a bit of prize money (in the Christmas Hurdle).
“He is a horse of a life time for Mr Fell (owner) and us and I’m very proud of him.”
Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2)
£112,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 179y, Class 1
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT JOCKEY TRAINER SP
1 Song For Someone 5 11-6 Tom Symonds Aidan Coleman 6/1
2 nse Silver Streak 7 11-4 Evan Williams Adam Wedge 10/1
3 2¾ Ballyandy 9 11-6 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 14/1
4 ½ Sceau Royal 8 11-6 Alan King Daryl Jacob 10/1
5 nk Summerville Boy 8 11-6 Tom George Tom Scudamore 14/1
6 hd Ch'tibello 9 11-0 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 11/1
7 3¾ Call Me Lord 7 11-6 Nicky Henderson James Bowen 28/1
8 8½ Verdana Blue 8 10-7 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 17/1
9 7½ Stormy Ireland 6 10-11 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 14/1
10 5½ Goshen 4 11-0 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 6/4