Run set for Warwick raid
Views from connections ahead of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Warwick on Saturday.
Peregrine Run: Runs at Warwick
Irish trainer Peter Fahey expects to find out Peregrine Run's Cheltenham Festival target after his run in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Warwick.
The seven-year-old took his winning run to four in a Grade Two at Cheltenham in November to get valuable course experience into him, and the form of that race has worked out particularly well.
While he would not want the ground too testing, Fahey is hoping for clues as to what race he will end up in at the showpiece meeting in March, with the Neptune over this weekend's trip of two-miles-five, the Albert Bartlett over three miles or a plethora of handicaps to consider, too.
In recent years horses like Inglis Drever and The New One have used this race as a springboard to stardom.
"You'd have to be delighted with the way the form of his last win has worked out at Cheltenham," said Fahey.
"We gave him a small break after that and the plan since has always been to come here.
"Hopefully the ground won't be too soft, they are running it on fresh ground close to the chasing track.
"We've got our options open regarding Cheltenham, if he goes at all.
"This will hopefully tell us a lot, whether we go for the Neptune, Albert Bartlett or even a handicap. In recent years this race has been a really good pointer.
"If we don't get much more rain there hopefully he'll run well and we'll see where he ends up."
Evan Williams felt it was worth letting Gayebury take his chance on what will be just his second run over hurdles.
Useful in bumpers for Tom Symonds last season, the lightly-raced seven-year-old was bought by current connections for £40,000.
He gave them an immediate return on that investment when winning at Ffos Las in November.
"He had issues as a younger horse and his wheels aren't the best," said Williams.
"I was very taken by his first performance and the form has worked out nicely.
"We had a choice to make, whether to run in a novice with a penalty or come here for this and I just felt we had nothing to lose running in this.
"The ground will suit him and even though he's not very big he's potentially a very nice horse for the future."
Geordie Des Champs had been on a winning run for Rebecca Curtis until finishing second at Newbury last time out.
That was his first defeat in five races and still represented his best run on the book.
"Even thought he lost last time it was still probably a career-best," said Frank Berry, owner JP McManus' racing manager.
"He travelled really well, but he just bumped into one. Hopefully he'll have learned plenty from that, he should handle the ground and we're looking forward to seeing how he gets on."
Nigel Twiston-Davies runs Ballyhill, of whom assistant trainer Carl Llewellyn said: "He is a good little horse and has been very consistent.
"Two miles around Kempton would have been a bit too sharp for him. He ran well though and led them into the straight and just got done for a bit of toe in the straight.
"This trip should suit better and hopefully the ground won't be too slow for him."
Ben Pauling is represented by Willoughby Court, while Dan Skelton's representative is Get On The Yager.
Anthony Honeyball has declared Fountains Windfall but only as a second preference behind the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton.
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