Botox Has is Rendlesham hero, but no plans for Stayers’ tilt

Botox Has appears unlikely to throw his hat into the Stayers’ Hurdle ring despite registering a wide-margin victory in the Virgin Bet Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock.

The eight-year-old has been a fine servant to his connections, with two wins at Cheltenham, a National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell and a Grade Three handicap win at Haydock last season featuring on his CV.

Gary Moore’s charge kicked off the current campaign with success in the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby and has since finished sixth in both the Long Walk at Ascot and the Cleeve at Cheltenham.

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Returning to a track and conditions he clearly handles well, Botox Has was set off at 5-2 to complete a big-race double for his trainer and jockey Caoilin Quinn following Salver’s comfortable triumph in the preceding Virgin Bet Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle.

And after sitting in the slipstream of 6-4 favourite Butch for much of the extended three-mile journey, the eight-year-old took over in the home straight and pulled nine lengths clear on the run-in.

Betfair trimmed Botox Has’ Stayers’ Hurdle odds to 20-1 from 66-1, but Moore’s son and assistant Josh expects him sidestep the Cheltenham Festival in favour of other options.

He said: “He’s won very well and I think he likes a flat track. For all he’s won at Cheltenham and Fontwell in the past, I think a flat track sees the best of him, like at Wetherby and here at Haydock in a handicap hurdle last year.

“I think we’ll probably bypass Cheltenham. He is in the Stayers’, but I don’t think he’ll go there. We might consider the Grade One at Aintree and we may also consider going to France in the spring for the French Champion Hurdle, and there are other races for him there as well.

“We’ll probably save him for Aintree first as I think the track there will suit him and we’ll hope for a soft ground Aintree.”

Jockey Caoilin Quinn
Jockey Caoilin Quinn (David Davies/PA)

Moore was keen to praise the winning rider, whose opportunities looks sure to increase after Josh’s brother Jamie joined him in retirement earlier this week.

He added: “Caoilin is riding very well and he’s actually closing in a bit on the conditional title leader (Patrick Wadge), so hopefully he’ll have a good go at that.”

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