Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Festival hero Unowhatimeanharry set for December return

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Harry Fry reports former Stayers Hurdle winner Unowhatimeanharry is in ‘great shape’, and will make his seasonal appearance in Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle on December 1st.

The nine-year-old tasted Festival success in the formerly known World Hurdle in 2016, but despite an eight race unbeaten record he could only finish third when attempting to reclaim the prize in 2017.

He finished third behind Nicholas Canyon, before reversing the form when the pair clashed in Punchestown in April.

“He’s just come back to us only a fortnight ago, but he seems to have summered very well,” said the Dorset-based trainer.

“He stayed over in Ireland and it’s great to have him back with us."

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Unowhatimeanharry will target a fourth Grade One in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, which he won in 2016

The JP McManus owned hurdler is set to return to Newbury, where he started his campaign last year, in the 3m event on Ladbroke Gold Cup day.

He defeated Ballyoptic in the race last year by six lengths, before winning Ascot’s Grade One Long Walk Hurdle in impressive style.

“The plan is to stick to hurdles and almost certainly follow the same sort of programme he did last year,” Fry added.

“We will take it race by race, but I don’t think too much will change in his programme.

“I would think we would start him off at Newbury in the Hennessy meeting, in the race he appeared in last year. 

“After that we would keep our options open, but we will probably go back to the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.”

Unowhatimeanharry is currently priced at 9/1 to win the Stayer’s Hurdle, with last year’s hero Nicholas Canyon the 7/1 antepost favourite.

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