Newbury option for Rhythm

Fergal O'Brien is keen to take small steps over hurdles ahead of making any grand plans with smart bumper performer Poetic Rhythm.

Poetic Rhythm : Could begin hurdling career at Newbury

The Naunton handler is leaning towards unleashing the former point-to-point winner over hurdles in a novice contest at Newbury on December 14.

After finishing fifth on his first start under rules at Aintree back in May, the six-year-old has since tasted victory in two subsequent runs with the most recent coming earlier this month in a Listed event at Cheltenham.

O'Brien said: "It was a very nice bumper win at Cheltenham and I think we might well go hurdling now.

"I'm not saying we expected the win at Cheltenham, but it didn't surprise us at all as he is very tough and honest and is a joy to have around.

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"We were delighted with the way he won at Chepstow and Paddy (Brennan) said 'let's go to the Open at Cheltenham and see how far we can go with him'.

"There is a two-mile-three novice event at Newbury on December 14 so we might go there. He seems to have come out of that last race OK and we are very happy with him.

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"He has run in several point-to-points so he knows his job and Paddy came in and schooled him the other day.

"We will just take it one step at a time. We will have a look at Newbury and take it from there. It would be lovely to dream that he could end up back at Cheltenham."

Plans remain in place to keep Imperial Eloquence, who finished third behind Poetic Rhythm at Prestbury Park, to National Hunt Flat races for the season, with a trip to Ascot next month on the cards ahead of a potential outing in the Champion Bumper.

O'Brien added: "He is a gorgeous horse but he is only four. We might go to Ascot next month for a Listed bumper as he is only allowed one more run in one if we want to go to Cheltenham.

"We've not schooled him outside but he has done a fair bit back in Ireland. He is very straightforward to train. It was a very good run behind Poetic Rhythm as he had already had a race."

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