Gary Moore considering options Goshen as poor scope rules Ascot out

Thu 19 Nov 2020

Gary Moore will take stock over the next few days on a new target for Goshen after he was a surprise absentee from the declarations for the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.

So unfortunate in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, the four-year-old had been due to make his return over obstacles in the Grade Two contest after a couple of Flat outings.

Moore said: “His scope wasn’t perfect this morning and you can’t run a horse when their scope isn’t perfect.

“If we can get him clean in time we’ll look at the Fighting Fifth up at Newcastle (November 28), but that is less than two weeks away and he’s going to have to have a few easy days now.

“If he’s not ready for that, then it will have to be the International at Cheltenham (December 12).”

That leaves Laurina, who went off a 5-2 chance for the 2019 Champion Hurdle when trained by Willie Mullins, as the headline act in a three-runner affair.

She was among a group of horses owner Jared Sullivan moved from Ireland to Paul Nicholls’ yard over the summer, but she has questions to answer after a disappointing campaign last term, both over fences and hurdles.

Taking her on are Nicky Henderson’s Call Me Lord and the Tom Symmonds-trained Song For Someone.

Real Steel, Imperial Aura, Itchy Feet and Black Corton face off in a fascinating renewal of the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase.

Real Steel, another of the Sullivan horses to switch to Nicholls, was last seen finishing sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Imperial Aura has been on a steep upward curve for the in-form Kim Bailey, winning a handicap at the Festival and barely putting a foot wrong in the Colin Parker Memorial at Carlisle on his return to action.

Bailey shunned last week’s Paddy Power Gold Cup to step him up to Grade Two class instead.

Itchy Feet was a Grade One winner as a novice last season – a first for trainer Olly Murphy – but he was an early casualty in the Marsh Novices’ Chase in March.

He was a respectable third in the Old Roan at Aintree, giving weight to all but one of his rivals, on his reappearance.

The Nicholls-trained Black Corton is without a win since April 2019, but has run plenty of good races in defeat for regular rider Bryony Frost and goes well at Ascot.

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