Fry sends American Gigolo to Newcastle in pursuit of valuable handicap prize
It's only a six hour and 358-mile journey from Harry Fry's Dorset barn to Newcastle, so the trainer must be hoping American Gigolo can pay for the fuel and a little bit more by bagging the opening £25,000 staying handicap (5.35).
A useful hurdler, the six-year-old will once again be ridden by Fran Berry, who has partnered him in all of his three Flat starts which have yielded two wins and a second.
Fry said: "It's a step up in grade from what he's been doing, but he's done that very nicely the last two times. It's a step up in trip, which should suit. It's long way from home for us, but hopefully he can make it worthwhile."
Fry, better known as a jumps trainer, was still doing second lot at 1.50pm on Monday because of the snow, four hours after schedule.
"The horse will head up tomorrow morning," he added.
Festival form on display at Clonmel
Little water has passed under the bridge since the curtain has come down on the Cheltenham Festival, but there is some festival form on offer in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Hurdle (3.50) in the shape of Gun Digger.
The six-year-old son of Stowaway chased home Blow By Blow in the Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles last month. While it was a little disappointing to be beaten 14 lengths at the time, it does not look so shabby now with Blow By Blow having won last week’s Martin Pipe Hurdle by five lengths.
Indeed, Gun Digger was sent off at 7-2 for the aforementioned contest with Blow By Blow allowed to go off at double the price.
Described by Elliott as a "grand horse who will make an even better chaser," Gun Digger arrives with rock-solid form and the testing conditions should not pose a problem given that he was successful in a novice hurdle on heavy ground at Down Royal in January.
Among Gun Digger's four rivals are three last-time-out winners – High Sparrow, Force Of Forces and The Conditional.
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