Carlo set for Sky Bet test

Classy Flat performer What About Carlo is set to make his hurdling debut in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.

What About Carlo: Set for hurdling debut on Sunday

Trained by Eve Johnson-Houghton, What About Carlo is rated 100 on the Flat after winning six of his 31 starts and comes into Sunday's race on the back a decisive victory in a 10-furlong class 2 handicap at Newbury on October 22.

Johnston-Houghton said: "I have given What About Carlo an entry at Leicester but the ground is firm there and I don't want to run him on that.

"The ground looks like it is going to be perfect at Cheltenham so the plan is probably to go for the Sky Bet Supreme Trial.

"I might be mad – well I am mad – because it would have been nice to have an easier introduction, but the ground is quick everywhere and Cheltenham looks the best option in this regard.

"His schooling has been brilliant. He schooled this morning and went really nicely. I take him to Henrietta Knight's to school and she would not let me run him if she didn't think he was capable.

"We decided to give hurdling a go because he loves a cut in the ground. It makes sense to go autumn, winter, spring and then give him a break over the summer.

"We will find out about stamina. I think a lot of horses can transfer a mile and a quarter to two miles over hurdles. If they need further than 10 furlongs on the Flat, they sometimes don't have the pace."

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What About Carlo is a 16/1 chance with Sky Bet for Sunday's race.

Meanwhile, Irish trainer Peter Fahey is considering two options at The Open for his exciting novice hurdler Peregrine Run.

The progressive six-year-old son of King's Theatre has won on his last three starts, culminating with a victory in a Listed contest over two miles and five furlongs at Limerick on October 9.

At The Open, Peregrine Run holds entries in both the Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices' Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs on Friday and the Sky Bet Supreme Trial on Sunday.

Fahey, who is based in County Kildare, is leaning towards Friday's contest and said: "Peregrine Run has two options at Cheltenham but is more than likely to go for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle on the Friday.

"He is in good old form and worked nicely the other morning. His performances this season have been very good and he seems to be an improving horse.

"I can't say I have got a reason why he has improved – maybe he has just taken time to mature. Since he won his maiden hurdle, he has been thriving and improving with each run.

"Providing the ground is on the nice side, he should run a good race on Friday.

"Once the ground softens, we might try him over two miles and see how he gets on but we won't keep him too busy him over the winter. We will have him back for the spring festivals."

There are 14 entries for Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices' Hurdle, with other leading contenders including Wholestone (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and Thistlecrack's half-brother West Approach (Colin Tizzard), who were first and second respectively in the Richard Allen, Waters & The Brittons Novices' Hurdle over three miles at The Showcase on October 22.

Champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls has entered Rouge Devils, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, who has landed his last two starts at Wincanton.

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