Ascot on Neuf radar after Greatwood run

Evan Williams looking to handicap prizes.

  • Monday 18 November
  • News
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Evan Williams is thinking of pitching Quoi De Neuf in next month’s valuable Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Ascot after the lightly-raced gelding’s fine effort in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.

The five-year-old held every chance at the final flight, but had to settle for fourth place behind Harambe after having to be switched twice on the run to the line.

It was his fifth start under rules and Williams feels Quoi De Neuf has every right to have another go at a big prize.

“He ran well. He just got found out in the latter stages,” said the Llancarfan trainer.

“He travelled well, he jumped well, but it’s a long way up that hill for a horse that has such little experience as him.

“I don’t think it will be wasted on him. It either makes them or breaks them. He’s a happy horse and he ran a very good race for one with such little experience. He just a bit lost at the back of the last.

“He’s absolutely spot on. I’d say he’d be entered for what was the Ladbroke at Ascot. That’s the obvious thing. We’ll keep rolling the dice in those really good handicap hurdles because your turn could come.”

Williams reports Silver Streak, who was second in last year’s Greatwood, to be on course for the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday week.

“Everything’s fine. He’s going to Newcastle the week after next,” he said.

“I suppose we could go to the International (at Cheltenham on December 14) if we wanted to, but we’re going for the Fighting Fifth. Everything is on track for that.”

Williams has decided not to send Clyne for the Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday because the ground is drying out on Merseyside.

Clyne is a mudlover and conditions are going against him.

“He won’t run at Haydock on Saturday. The ground’s drying out. I’ve taken him out. We’d be wasting our time with him,” he said.

“We decided we’ll wait and sit tight with him. We’ve got plenty of options.”