Long Walk back at Ascot set to be next target for Buzz

Ascot’s Coral Hurdle winner Buzz will return to his favourite track in the Long Walk Hurdle on December 18, after taking Saturday’s exertions well, according to Thurloe Thoroughbreds founder James Stafford.

Stayers’ Hurdle sponsors Paddy Power cut the galloping grey, trained by Nicky Henderson, to 8-1 (from 12s) for their race, following the cosy three-and-a-quarter-length success in the extended two-mile-three-furlong Grade Two contest.

Stafford feels the seven-year-old, who was previously seen winning the Cesarewitch at Newmarket under Oisin Murphy, is a “natural athlete” and should continue to progress.

He said: “It was a great thrill to see him do that, especially as there is always the worry that he may not bounce back after his exertions in the Cesarewitch.

“He was in great form and it was marvellous to see him do what we always thought he was capable of doing. He has always looked as if he wants two and a half miles and probably further – and he definitely wants further.

“They went a good pace and it was a good test for them. It was a truly-run race and Song For Someone was always going to ensure there was a good pace.

“As soon as we know everything is OK – and I think everything is OK, as he has come out of the race all right – the plan is to make sure he is tickety-boo for the Long Walk Hurdle on December 18.

“He has been a revelation, really. We knew he was a nice horse when we bought him, but that does not automatically transfer from being a nice horse into hurdling, but he has done really well.

“He jumped three or four flights of hurdles in his build-up to this race and he just takes things very naturally. He is a natural athlete and it is very exciting.”

A quarter of the prize money earned by Buzz, who races in the familiar lime and yellow silks of the Thurloe Thoroughbreds, goes to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Stafford added: “The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity in aid of the Oak Cancer Centre, which they are building, is going to benefit from the syndicate.

“So, that has benefitted enormously from the prize-money the horses have earned – it is not just Buzz.

“My brother-in-law, Oliver Pawle, is on the board of the Oak Cancer Centre Appeal board and we know the chap who chairs it, Mike Slade, who has had horses all his life including with David Elsworth. We have a got a lot of racing people involved.

“The idea was put up two years ago that we would form a syndicate and try to benefit the charity by donating 25 per cent of the prize-money.

“We had no idea how it would work, but it has worked out surprisingly well. We never thought we’d raise £54,000 which is what we are going to be doing for this year.

“It would be nice to think Buzz will be able to continue to add to that.

“Buzz will tell us when he is ready, but the Long Walk is the target and he is back on his favourite track – he has won two of three at Ascot, so let’s see if he can make it three from four.”

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