Greatrex eyes another Stayers’ Hurdle with top trio
One Track Mind (left): back over hurdles after going novice chasing
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos Greatrex eyes another Stayers' Hurdle with trio By James Burn 1:00PM 18 JAN 2017
TRAINER Warren Greatrex, who enjoyed the finest moment of his career when Cole Harden won the 2015 World Hurdle, has another crack at the staying championship in his sights after revealing that horse, One Track Mind and Shantou Bob would be entered in the race, which will be run as the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle this spring.
Speaking on a frosty morning in Lambourn, Greatrex outlined plans for a number of his stable aces and while Cole Harden, who schooled under Leighton Aspell, will likely have his next outing in a novice chase at Doncaster next week, One Track Mind and Shantou Bob will be set on the Stayers' Hurdle trail.
Successful in a Grade 1 over hurdles at the Punchestown festival last year, One Track Mind has not fired over fences this season so will remain over hurdles.
He is a general 25-1 for the Cheltenham event, while stablemate Shantou Bob, a winner of a handicap at Chepstow last month, will test his credentials against Stayer's Hurdle favourite Unowhatimeanharry in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle next week.
Greatrex said: "One Track Mind will stay hurdling and will go for the Rendlesham at Haydock on February 18. I spoke to the owners recently and we're not going to gain anything by going novice chasing now and it means next season we can start off afresh.
"Shantou Bob went up 9lb for winning at Chepstow so is on a rating of 146. He's still got plenty to find, but was my best novice two seasons ago. He's had his injury problems, but won well at Chepstow and I will probably put cheekpieces on him next time because where he gets into trouble is mid-race; he can drop himself out or not lay up. But he finishes and is a really strong stayer, very tough.
"If the Cleeve came up really soft I think he could run a really big race. He seems in great form and in really good nick. He's a high-class horse and has already qualified for the Pertemps, but he deserves a crack at a big one."
Wetherby for Approach
Missed Approach, an impressive winner at Lingfield recently after disappointing at Exeter on his debut over fences in November, could next be seen in the totepool Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby on February 4.
"He won very well the other day and the form of his race at Exeter is working out well," Greatrex added. "He definitely didn't run his race that day and whether the wind op was the reason or he just wasn't himself I don't know, but he put it to bed really well at Lingfield and I'd say he'd now go for the Towton.
"He could possibly do that and the Reynoldstown at Ascot and Cheltenham-wise we might put him in the four-miler. I don't think he'll be in the RSA, but I need to speak to the owners first.
"He's very much ground-dependent and next year he could turn into a Hennessy stroke Welsh National horse. Ground is key and I think he goes through bad ground very well."
The Nipper uncertain for Cheltenham
The Nipper, who won on the same card as Missed Approach, is a 20-1 chance for the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' at the Cheltenham Festival, but may not make the line-up.
Greatrex said: "She came back from Lingfield with sore shins so she's had to have a break since and I think she could possibly run out of time for Cheltenham. I'd want to get another race into her, but she'll be entered so we'll see. There are races in Ireland at the end of the season that would suit her as well."
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