HORSE RACING - Clouds continues rise through the ranks to set up potential Cheltenham trip - The Rugby Observer

HORSE RACING - Clouds continues rise through the ranks to set up potential Cheltenham trip

Rugby Editorial 29th Sep, 2023 Updated: 29th Sep, 2023   0

ALL roads could now lead to an outing at Cheltenham for the progressive Sea The Clouds who made it back-to-back wins for the season in the concluding Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle at Warwick.

Arriving on the back of a victory at Worcester, the Jamie Snowden-trained Born To Sea gelding added to that success when taking a step up to three miles and a furlong in his stride to register success number four of his career.

Racing in behind the leaders for much of the race the 100-30 chance moved into third ahead of reaching two out before staying on well after the last under Gavin Sheehan to defeat favourite Edison Kent by two lengths.

And having shown his appetite for a stamina test Sea The Clouds will now come under consideration for the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (series qualifier) at Cheltenham on October 28 according to the Lambourn handler.

Snowden said: “He is becoming a bit of a legend in the yard as he has now only been out of the first three twice in his life. He is a bonny little horse, but he tries hard.

“Last season he won his bumper and a novice hurdle then he was placed in two more novice hurdles.

“We gave him a break and brought him back in May and on his first run it looked like he half needed it and after his second run back we decided to step him up in trip.

“He was then touched off at Worcester before going back and winning there. We thought we would step him up in trip again to beyond three miles and he has appeared to like that.

“He is only six and there should be more improvement, but he has won this race off a career-high mark of 113.

“Where we go next we will see what the weather does, but he might have half a chance in the Pertemps qualifier at the first Cheltenham meeting.

“I’m not saying he is going to go and win a Pertemps Final, however it would be great if he could nick one of these qualifiers.”

Elsewhere on the card the father and son team of trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey Jonjo O’Neill junior teamed up to secure a 21.5-1 double.

Track And Trace (7-2) got the ball rolling for the pair when prevailing by a neck in the NAF Novices’ Hurdle before Are U Wise To That (4-1) secured the Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow Handicap Chase by two and a quarter lengths on his debut over fences.


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