Frankel colt Solo Saxophone fuels Cheltenham Festival fires with Wetherby win

Tue 23 Jan 2018

Solo Saxophone, the horse who provided Frankel with his first ever winner over jumps, kept dreams of a Cheltenham Festival appearance alive with a determined victory at Wetherby.

The four-year-old was winless after five starts on the Flat for leading Irish trainer Dermot Weld, but went into the record books at Catterick last month when he became the brilliant Frankel's first runner and winner under National Hunt rules.

Dan Skelton's charge was the 5-4 favourite to maintain his unbeaten record in the Juvenile Hurdle and while the trainer's brother Harry was hard at work in the saddle from early in the home straight, Solo Saxophone responded to his urgings to get up and beat 50-1 shot Titan by half a length.

Richard Ward of owners BGC Racing said: "He's clearly game. I don't think you could question his attitude.

"I think he was 16-1 in running and he had to dig in, but his class got him through in the end.

"He'll be better when he goes further and I also think he'll be better on better ground."

Solo Saxophone is a general 33-1 shot for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, but appears more likely to go for the Fred Winter, for which he is a best-priced 25-1.

Ward added: "We're doing our best to keep our feet on the ground, but we'd like to think he'll win his next race and then go to Cheltenham three from three.

"He's in the Triumph Hurdle, but I think the Fred Winter is probably more likely. I just wonder whether he'd have the pace for a Triumph.

"He showed massive improvement from Catterick and Dan thinks there's plenty more to come."

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