Not So Sleepy set to take familiar Cheltenham path

Not So Sleepy set to take familiar Cheltenham path

Not So Sleepy could return to Cheltenham in March for a fourth crack at the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

The Lady Blyth-owned 11-year-old, whose crowning glory came in the warm-up with Épatante in the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November 2021, is also a Listed winner on the flat.

Third in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October, he had two subsequent races over hurdles, finishing third at Constitution Hill to defend his fifth fighting crown, and when he rose on the trip to be last of five behind Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle revamped. in Kempton on Boxing Day.

“Not So Sleepy is fine,” Morrison said. “We’ve given him a bit of a break since his last race at Kempton. He just doesn’t operate there.

“He always runs better fresh, but there’s something in the ground there.”

The Beat Hollow gelding has won five of his 16 hurdle starts and has raised over £460,000 in 61 races under both codes.

The East Ilsley manager will now target Not So Sleepy at the Champion Hurdle, where he finished a respectable fifth in 2021 and sixth last season.

“He always runs well at Cheltenham,” Morrison added. “I think the general feeling is that at the age of 11 it’s time to hang up his boots soon enough and if we feel comfortable we’ll just take him to Cheltenham.

“If the first ones arrive, there won’t be more than 10 runners and it’s a horse race.

“There are a lot of ifs and buts – someone has to show up – and I think that will be his next race.”

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