Jedd O’Keeffe is “anxiously looking forward” to Sam Spinner’s chasing debut at Wetherby on Wednesday.
O’Keeffe has taken the plunge with the 164-rated seven-year-old, who won the Long Walk Hurdle in 2017 and was second to Paisley Park in the Stayers’ Hurdle last season.
Sam Spinner faces a tough task on his return with Dan Skelton’s Beakstown, winner of the Leamington Spa Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick, 2018 Imperial Cup winner Mr Antolini and Ruth Jefferson’s promising Return Ticket taking him on over just short of two and a half miles.
“We are very happy with Sam Spinner. He has done plenty of work and plenty of schooling, and we are anxiously looking forward to it,” said O’Keeffe.
“The trip is probably a touch on the sharp side for him, but he will enjoy the track and the ground is fine.
“What we want to see from him tomorrow, first and foremost, is a good round of jumping.
“We know that he is not at his peak yet and hopefully that will come later on in the season, but we want to see lots of promise and aptitude for chasing, which is what we see at home.”
As usual, Joe Colliver takes the ride.
While O’Keeffe is mindful of the trip being short of Sam Spinner’s best, Skelton fears his class may be too much too handle for the rest.
“It is a warm race. Sam Spinner being in there means we have to find 24lb, which I don’t know how you do and I don’t think we’ve ever done that,” said Skelton.
“If Sam Spinner takes to chasing he will be hard to beat, but there are a couple of others in there, like Mr Antolini, rated similar to us. We are looking forward to going.
“He has done plenty of work and jumped loads at home, we just have to get started. He is a big horse and he has always wanted a fence.
“I always thought he would be a chaser and I think there is improvement in him from a hurdler to chaser, but how much – who knows? Only time will tell, but I’m happy with him. It is a great buzz to get going with him.”