HARRY Fry feels Unowhatimeanharry’s “streetwise” nature has been a key facet behind his exceptional run of form ahead of the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle (3.30pm) today.
The nine-year-old is unbeaten in his last eight starts, including in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago, and is likely to be sent on his way at very short odds for the feature race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.
The Seaborough handler said: “It’s exciting. Obviously, we’re looking forward to it enormously. Every run last season he kept on surprising us. He was backed as if he’d already won first time out for us, but we didn’t know what we had and he’s just kept on winning.
“He’s streetwise – really hardy – and that’s why we don’t really know what we’ve got as he doesn’t fly up the gallops.
“He only works as well as the horse he works with. Barry (Geraghty) got off last time and said he was only doing enough. Hopefully if he can turn up in the same sort of form he’s been in all season, he’ll run a good race.”
Meanwhile, Fry was proud in defeat after the previously unbeaten Neon Wolf succumbed to such a slender margin at the Festival yesterday.
Willoughby Court showed bravery to land the Neptune Investment Management Novice’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park. The 14-1 chance, trained by Ben Pauling and ridden by David Bass, had looked a sitting duck once Neon Wolf made his move.
But try as he might along the run-in, the 2-1 favourite could not get on level terms with the front-running Willoughby Court, who was announced the winner after a photo-finish, getting the nod by a head. Messire Des Obeaux finished third at odds of 8-1.
The Seaborough handler said: “He has ran a great race and all credit to the winner, who has just pulled out more and more. I’m absolutely delighted with the run. We had a certain Rock On Ruby finish second, beaten a short head, in this race and he didn’t do too bad.”
n Colin Tizzard’s Fox Norton (7-1) finished second in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.