Lacey hatches Challow plan for Kateson

Hurdling debutant on target at Chepstow

  • Wednesday 07 November
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Tom Lacey is rarely one to rush into grand plans, but he is considering a tilt at Grade One glory for Kateson after his debut win over hurdles at Chepstow.

The five-year-old is a step closer to next month’s Challow Hurdle at Newbury after adding Wednesday’s three-and-a-half-length victory to his runner-up spot in a Grade Two bumper at Aintree in April.

Following Kateson’s success in the Skiptons Supporting Velindre Maiden Hurdle, Lacey said of his 2-1 winner: “What a way to start!

“He is an exciting horse to have.

“Tom (Scudamore) said having hurdles there really helped him. We always thought, judging by his bumper runs, he would want north of two miles – and it was a lovely race to start in.

“We will just take it step by step, but the Challow Hurdle is a nice target to have. The horse has got to take us there, but that is the ideal type of race for him.”

Given the ammunition Tom George has, this season could turn out to be extra special, and The Big Bite may be a significant help after his five-length success in the Aspen Waite Complete Business Growth Service “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle.

The 9-4 winner was making his first start since finishing down the field in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, and his trainer said: “It was a good introduction.

“His owners have been very patient, giving me time and giving me the chance to let him develop into a good horse. He is just growing up all the time.

“He and Seddon finished next to each other in the Champion Bumper and are two smart horses.

“I suppose we would probably go for a novice with a penalty. He is a quick horse, so two miles will be fine for now.”

The smile on the face of trainer Paul Nicholls suggested Silver Forever (3-1) should be up to competing at a higher level, having run out a decisive five-length winner of the Bowen Contracting Ltd & Bryn Group Supporting Velindre Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Nicholls said: “She is smart. Being as she is only four, we will probably do what we did with Posh Trish and run her in these better mares’ bumpers – because there is no hurry to go hurdling with her.”

Awake At Midnight may have a long way to go to match the exploits of his Grade One-winning uncle Planet Of Sound.

But the six-year-old made a pleasing enough start over fences when gamely taking the Holt JCB Ltd Supporting Velindre Chase by half a length.

Winning trainer Philip Hobbs said of the 9-2 winner: “He was just a bit outpaced over the two miles, because they went very quick.

“He will probably go over two and a half next time, but we are very pleased with him. He is only a young horse, so we hope we can have plenty of fun for a long time.”

Fresh from the victory of Farm The Rock at Exeter on Tuesday, Katy Price made it two winners in as many days when Clondaw Rigger (4-1) struck on his first visit to Chepstow – landing the Prichards Supporting Velindre Handicap Chase by seven lengths.

Price said: “When your horses are in form, they’re in form – but they had been out of form for quite a while .

“We ran him at Plumpton and Ffos Las last year – and he stopped very quickly, having travelled like he was all over the winner – but there was no stopping him today.”

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