We Have A Dream bids to reverse recent form with If The Cap Fits in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
The Nicky Henderson-trained We Have A Dream firmly established himself as one of last season’s leading juvenile hurdlers after winning his first four starts following his arrival from France.
A setback ruled him out of an intended appearance in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but he was a brilliant winner on his final outing of the campaign at Aintree.
The Martaline gelding was a hot favourite to make a successful return to action in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton a fortnight ago, but had to make do with minor honours in third behind stablemate Verdana Blue – with Harry Fry’s If The Cap Fits splitting the pair in second.
Henderson hopes his charge can turn the tables on the Fry runner in this Grade Two contest.
“It was just a matter of whether we ran Call Me Lord or We Have A Dream. Call Me Lord probably wants softer ground so that is why we are bringing We Have A Dream,” said Henderson.
“I was pleased with him at Wincanton. He ran a good race making the running.
“If The Cap Fits finished in front of him, but we will probably come on for it.
“He wasn’t desperately in need of the run, but he did need it and when he blew up and Verdana Blue went past him, Daryl (Jacob) said he was not going to go after her.
“It was a nice first run.”
High-class bumper performer If The Cap Fits won each of his three starts over hurdles last season, completing his hat-trick at Kempton on Boxing Day before missing the remainder of the campaign.
Fry was pleased with his performance at Wincanton and expects to learn this weekend whether his Champion Hurdle ambitions are realistic.
Fry told At The Races: “He had a really nice comeback run in the Elite. It was only his fourth run over hurdles and he was a bit ring-rusty, but he seems to have come forward nicely from that outing.
“We’ve set out to try to find out if he could be up to Champion Hurdle class. He bumped into a race-fit and in-form Verdana Blue the last day, but he’s got to take another step forward if we are seriously going to consider that route.
“Saturday is probably his last chance to prove to us that he is up to going down the Champion Hurdle route and if he wasn’t, then we’d possibly look to switch to fences.
“It’s a big day for him and we’re looking forward to seeing if he can climb further up the ladder.”
Paul Nicholls sends the admirable Old Guard into battle once more following his fine effort to finish third in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last Sunday.
Oliver Sherwood’s Rayvin Black, Brian Ellison’s Tomngerry and Babbling Stream, trained by Brian Barr, all have plenty to find on ratings.