Friday 23 March 2018

Weld watching skies for flying filly

Dermot Weld. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Dermot Weld. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Dermot Weld is praying for soft going for Unaccompanied in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 18.

The Curragh trainer warns that the filly is ground dependent and the master of Rosewell is unsure if she would handle faster conditions effectively.

Unaccompanied is second favourite with most bookmakers for the Triumph, at a best-priced 7-1, after winning both her starts over jumps so far, including the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown two weeks ago.

"She loves a good give in the ground, she's very effective on soft ground and whether she'll be as effective on a fast surface is debatable," Weld told At The Races.

"I'm not convinced our four-year-old hurdlers are particularly good. She's probably the best of an average team. That said, in soft ground she's very good

"The Grade One here was a reasonably good race. I think she will progress, I think she's very good, but she is ground dependent."

Weld wants decent ground for his other Festival hopeful, Hidden Universe, who is line for the Stan James Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

The five-year-old opened his account over timber at Leopardstown in December and was fourth back there behind Oscars Well in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle recently.

"He's the only other possibility (for Cheltenham). He's a good-ground horse and he won the Grade One bumper at Punchestown last year," added Weld.

"He was fourth in the Grade One at Leopardstown the other day. By bringing him back in distance on better ground I think you'll see a big run from him. He'll go for the Supreme."

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