Jedd O’Keeffe is eager to test Sam Spinner against top opposition in the JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle on December 23rd.
Sam Spinner, the winner of a handicap at Haydock by 17 lengths, is one of 13 entries for the Grade One contest.
Speaking recently O’Keeffe said, “We are definitely aiming Sam Spinner at the Long Walk Hurdle. We really need to get a guide as to how far he has progressed and how far he is going to progress. This will help us to map out the rest of his season. Ascot is a definite target. Going up 16lb has forced our hand a little and probably just pushed us out of handicaps for the moment. He has been spot on since Haydock and couldn’t be better at the moment.”
He went on to say that he was impressed at how well he won and that he doesn’t think he needs ground as soft as it was at Haydock. However, he said that he they don’t know whether heavy ground “played to his strength more than the horses”.
Unowhatimeanharry may aim to repeat last year’s win and Lil Rockerfeller is another possible along with Thomas Campbell and L’Ami Serge. There may also be a challenge from Ireland in the form of Hatton Grace’s one-two Apple’s Jade and Nichols Canyon.
Meanwhile Elgin will be after a hat trick in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on December 23rd. The race, which is worth £150,000, was run as the Wessex Youth Trust Handicap Hurdle last season and before that was known as The Ladbroke.
Elgin, who is trained by Alan King, has already a course and distance win to his name this season. He has defied a 5lb higher mark in the Greatwood at Cheltenham and he has been raised another 6lb since then.