Fry up for Fighting Fifth mission with Love Envoi

Harry Fry views a switch to Sandown as a major positive for Love Envoi ahead of the rescheduled Fighting Fifth Hurdle on Saturday.

The seven-year-old was all set to lock horns with the brilliant Constitution Hill in the Grade One contest at Newcastle last weekend, only for the Gosforth Park fixture to be abandoned due to a combination of snow and frost.

The British Horseracing Authority moved swiftly to save the recognised Champion Hurdle trial, however, and it will now take place on familiar territory for Fry’s star mare.

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Harry Fry is looking forward to running Love Envoi in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Harry Fry is looking forward to running Love Envoi in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Tim Goode/PA)

“All being well, the plan is to run,” the Dorset-based trainer confirmed.

“Obviously, it was disappointing for Newcastle to lose their fixture on Saturday, but we’re pleased the race was able to be rescued and rescheduled for this weekend on a track that suits us well.

“She’s three from three at the course and won at this meeting last year in the handicap hurdle. There’ll be more of an emphasis on stamina over two miles round Sandown than there would have been at Newcastle, so from our point of view, we’re very happy.”

Nicky Henderson has suggested he may not only saddle Constitution Hill at Sandown, but that he could be joined by esteemed stablemate Shishkin, who he feels is in desperate need of a prep run ahead of an intended tilt at the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

Fry, though, is focussing on his own horse, adding: “Conditions shouldn’t be a problem, it’s an ideal starting point for her campaign and we’re looking forward to getting her season under way.

“We’ll just have to wait to see who else lines up. If Constitution Hill does run, it goes without saying he sets a very high standard, but you’ve got to be in it to win it.”

Fry is also set to be represented in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase on Saturday’s card, with Boothill looking likely to take his chance in the Grade One feature.

The eight-year-old is two from two this season, having plundered a couple of valuable handicaps at Ascot, and his trainer is keen to step him up in class earlier than originally planned.

Boothill at Ascot
Boothill at Ascot (John Walton/PA)

He said: “We’re leaning towards running. Initially, after winning the Hurst Park for the second year running, I thought we’d wait for the Clarence House (in January), but he’s bounced out of that race and is in great order with himself.

“It’s six weeks on Saturday until the Clarence House and with the weather at the moment, we’re having cancellations here, there and everywhere. You could wait all that time and you just never know.

“We just felt we’d keep our options open and we’ll make a final decision on Thursday morning, but at the moment, it’s probably more likely than not that we’ll let him take his chance.”

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