Horse Racing: At Kempton, Milton Harris is planning an Adonis prep run for Triumph Hurdle hopeful Knight Salute

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Horse Racing
Source: Skysports

Horse Racing: Milton Harris is having a fantastic season, and now that the results of all the major Triumph Hurdle trials over the Christmas period are in, it’s all smiling in Sutton Veny as Harris finalises arrangements for his Cheltenham Festival hopeful Knight Salute.

Last seen maintaining his unbeaten hurdles record in the Grade Two Summit Hurdle at Doncaster, the runner-up Porticello hacked up in the Grade One Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, giving the form of that event a major boost.

After briefly considering switching Knight Salute to the level for his next outing, Harris has now stated that Knight Salute would pursue more graded honours, with the Close Brothers Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton being his pre-Festival target.

“We were going to run him on the Flat as a prep,” Harris explained, “but I believe we’ve decided on the Adonis at Kempton.”

“I actually spoke with AP McCoy about him, and he thought Kempton would be a nice location to go because he’s a speedy horse who has won there previously.”

“I know there’s a risk of injury with every run, but he’s a really intelligent kid, and it’s difficult for these juveniles in their second season when they go on to race in open company, so you’ve got to get the most of them while you can.”

Results over the Christmas period have Harris dreaming of Cheltenham Festival glory, and he believes his mount has a great chance of becoming the Warminster trainer’s first winner at the festival in March.

“Listen, I’m not trying to bash anyone else’s horse; Gary’s (Moore) horse is a lovely horse, but he’ll most likely wind up as a three-mile chaser. Gordon Elliott’s horse is in the same boat (Fil Dor). He looks great, but he appears to be more of a galloper who will benefit from a lot of trim.

“Only time will tell whether decent ground on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival will suit them better than our horse, but I’d take our chances from the back of the field to the finish line with anyone.

“I mean, they might be gone by the time we get to the last,” the handler observed, “but if we’re latched onto them going down to the last, then we’re a runner because I know we’ve got a quick horse.”

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