Unibet International Hurdle
|Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:00
2m 179y, Class 1
|Saturday 12th December 2020|
Having been away from the track since winning the Kingwell Hurdle at Kempton in February, the Tom Symonds trained Song For Someone made a successful return to action despite going off the outsider of three in the Grade Two Coral Hurdle at Ascot on November 21.
With that form difficult to quantify, after hot favourite Laurina suffered a broken blood vessel and was subsequently retired, Symonds hopes to learn more about Song For Someone’s capabilities in a recognised Champion Hurdle trial at Prestbury Park.
“He’s come out of the race really fresh and well,” said the Herefordshire trainer.
“I see the handicapper has put him up 3lb to 156 off the back of winning on Saturday. It was a difficult race to assess, I’d have said, from a handicapping point of view.
“We didn’t confirm him for the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, and the plan would be to look to enter him in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham.
“I’m not saying he has to have it, but soft ground definitely helps the horse.”
Having proved his stamina over the best part of two and a half miles, Song For Someone has the option of tackling longer distances, should he be found out for a lack of pace in the International Hurdle.
However, Symonds is unsure whether a step up to three miles for a tilt at the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March would be the right call at this early stage of Song For Someone’s career.
He added: “We’re very happy with whatever he is, whether that means waiting for Aintree (and missing the Cheltenham Festival) or whatever.
“The only thing I would say is he’s only a five-year-old rising six, so whether you would want to go three miles round Cheltenham in a Stayers’ Hurdle at this stage of his life is a question.
“We’ll just take it step by step.”
Symonds has his string in fantastic form at present, with five of his last seven runners coming home in front.
Unibet International Hurdle 2019 (Grade 2)
£112,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 179y, Class 1
1 Call Me Lord 6 11-0 Nicky Henderson James Bowen 2/1F
2 nk Ballyandy 8 11-0 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 12/1
3 1¼ Ch'tibello 8 11-4 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 8/1
4 3 Monsieur Lecoq 5 11-0 Mrs Jane Williams Lizzie Kelly 8/1
5 ½ Pentland Hills 4 11-3 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 5/2
6 hd Gumball 5 11-4 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 11/1
7 3¼ Elixir De Nutz 5 11-3 Colin Tizzard Harry Cobden 12/1
8 6 Le Patriote 7 11-4 Dr Richard Newland Aidan Coleman 16/1
NR 7 112-1 Big Blue 7 11-0 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace NON RUNNER