Song aiming to hit winning note again in Coral Hurdle defence

Song For Someone returns to the scene of one of his finest hours when he defends his Coral Hurdle title at Ascot on Saturday.

The Tom Symonds-trained gelding beat two rivals to land this prize 12 months ago – by five lengths from Call Me Lord – and makes his seasonal debut having a wind operation following a disappointing end to the season.

Having been pulled up in the Aintree Hurdle, Symonds is first and foremost hoping Song For Someone can put up a good show on his return at a track that suits.

“He’s in good form. He had a wind op over the summer. It’s going to be tough, but it always is with penalties and it’s his first run of the season,” said the Ross-on-Wye trainer.

“I just want to see him back to the horse we saw at the beginning of last season. I know that doesn’t always equate to winning, but as long as we see that I’d be happy.

“He’s done well there. It’s the kind of track he enjoys the nature of. It’s quite interesting with Goshen, they are one apiece. It’s quite funny – one ran quite well and the other one hasn’t each time. It was like that for Goshen at Cheltenham and similar for us at Wincanton, so it will be interesting to see how they get on.

“There are other horses, too, but just between them it’s quite interesting. It’s what is good about the game, horses coming up against each other all the time.

“It’s fingers crossed for a good run, but we’re very happy with him.”

Jamie Moore hopes the unseasonal ground will not be a hindrance to Goshen on his comeback.

The five-year-old, trained by Moore’s father, Gary, was a late withdrawal from the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton earlier this month because conditions were too quick.

Moore is keeping his fingers crossed the ground will be safe enough for Goshen to run at Ascot.

“It’s nice to hopefully get him back racing,” said the jockey.

“He won over two-miles-two as a baby at Fontwell, so we’ll think he’ll be OK over the trip.

“He’s done everything right. He was ready to go to Wincanton, but he missed that. The owners have had to be very patient, so in an ideal world we’d want more rain for juice in the ground. It’s been a very dry November and a shame for everyone and it is showing with the field sizes.

“We’ll be hoping the ground will be safe. He seems OK at home, but he’s a bit wrong at the weights with Buzz – he was a very good winner of the Cesarewitch and could be hard to beat.”

Nicky Henderson, meanwhile, is looking forward to putting Buzz back over jumps after his win in the Newmarket marathon last month.

“I’m starting him off over two and a half on Saturday, but hope we end up with a two-miler and even a three-mile horse,” said the Seven Barrows handler.

“After Ascot we might have to go three back there in the Long Walk – I can’t say we won’t do that.”

Like Goshen, Buzz prefers softer ground.

“What is certain is that he needs the cut in the ground, and we were aware of that when we were going into the Newmarket race,” Henderson added.

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