Salver shines in Victor Ludorum victory

Salver took another step towards a potential outing at next month’s Cheltenham Festival after maintaining his unbeaten Virgin Bet Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle at Haydock.

Gary Moore’s youngster had impressed in winning each of his first three starts to date, never more so than when beating his rivals by upwards of 21 lengths in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow over the Christmas period.

The son of Motivator was bidding to make it four from four over obstacles on Merseyside – and while he made a couple of small jumping errors in the extremely testing conditions, the 2-5 favourite was ultimately not hard pressed to score by three and a half lengths in the hands of Caoilin Quinn.

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Josh Moore, assistant to his father, said: “He’s done it nicely and it’s sort of a case of he’s done what he had to do.

“I think he can be better than he was today as he was quite wound up beforehand, which he isn’t usually.

“It’s proper heavy ground out there and they’ll either go on it or they won’t. As we saw at Chepstow, he goes on it, but Haydock heavy is completely different to anywhere else.”

Paddy Power trimmed Salver’s odds for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham to 10-1 from 14-1, while he is 8-1 from 12-1 with the same firm for the Boodles.

However, Moore junior revealed his Festival participation will be ground dependent.

“I think he will only be going there if it is soft or worse than soft. You’d definitely want to be seeing soft in the going description anyway,” he added.

“If it’s a good ground Triumph I can’t see him running there. It’s quite a big occasion for a young horse, there’s Aintree afterwards and you’ve got the option of France as well.

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“There’s lots of options and we wouldn’t be in a rush to make any decisions. He’s a nice horse.”

Moore senior was at Ascot, where he said: “He’s won again and I’m very pleased with him.

“He got very stressed before the race which is a concern so we will have to see what he’s like when he gets back and what he’s like in the next few weeks before we decide if we go anywhere.

“If the conditions came right he would be a Triumph horse, but they would have to be right. I’m not bothered at all if I have to put him away, he’s a very big horse and he’s only going to improve. He’s a chaser in the making.”

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