The Tom Symonds trained Song For Someone boosted his chances of heading to the Cheltenham festival in March with a superb performance in the Ascot hurdle and now he will head to Prestbury Park for the Grade Two International Hurdle in December.
The handler does not have many superstars and this five year old could well and truly turn out to be just that having landed the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle on his final start of last term.
Last season the gelding was a model of consistency winning at Fontwell on debut before finishing a decent third behind Mack The Man and Protektorat in a strong handicap hurdle.
He stepped up to a Grade Three event at Ascot where he was a length behind Supreme Novices' Hurdle second Thomas Darby and he used that experience to win at Kempton.
Having that solid form line he made an outstanding seasonal debut at Ascot last week when going from the front in the Grade Two event and seeing off smart hurdlers Laurina and Call Me Lord with ease.
The Champion Hurdle looks a huge option for the gelding after that run and to truly see how special he can be Symonds will send him to Cheltenham for the Grade Two International Hurdle.
(Credit ATR) The Herefordshire trainer said:“He’s come out of the race really fresh and well.
“I see the handicapper has put him up 3lb to 156 off the back of winning on Saturday. It was a difficult race to assess, I’d have said, from a handicapping point of view.
“We didn’t confirm him for the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle this weekend, and the plan would be to look to enter him in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham.“I’m not saying he has to have it, but soft ground definitely helps the horse.”
Although the Champion Hurdle looks the most likely race at the festival for him Symonds is unsure whether a step up to three miles for a tilt at the Stayers’ Hurdle could be another option after showing clear stamina over 2m4f last time out.
He added: “We’re very happy with whatever he is, whether that means waiting for Aintree (and missing the Cheltenham Festival) or whatever.
“The only thing I would say is he’s only a five-year-old rising six, so whether you would want to go three miles round Cheltenham in a Stayers’ Hurdle at this stage of his life is a question.
“We’ll just take it step by step.”