Fry considering Reynoldstown option for If The Cap Fits

Harry Fry is unsure what to make of If The Cap Fits after his stable star charged home from an uncompromising position to pick up minor honours in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton.

The top-class hurdler made a fine start to his career over fences at Ffos Las in October, before finding Nicky Henderson’s Pym too strong in a Listed event at Sandown the following month.

He looked set to finish nearer last than first in his bid for a second Grade One victory on Boxing Day, but made late headway to finish third behind Shan Blue and The Big Breakaway.

Fry said: “We were quite relieved to get the consolation of third prize in the end, because for 98 to 99 per cent of the race he was tailed off and looked like he’d be pulled up.

“It was a very strange run. It shows the ability is there, to run with the handbrake on for the majority of the race and still manage to finish third and be beaten only seven and a half lengths.

“It’s a bit of a head scratcher. The cheek pieces worked for him over hurdles, but whether he’s resenting them over fences, I don’t know.”

When asked where If The Cap Fits could make his next appearance, the trainer added: “We’re thinking of the Reynoldstown at Ascot – there’s nothing set in stone yet, but that’s a potential next target.

“We’ll try to work out how we get the best out of him the next day.”

Fry looks to Ascot outing for If The Cap Fits

Harry Fry has earmarked the Jacquart Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot as a potential target for If The Cap Fits.

The Dorset handler is considering dropping the eight-year-old down in trip for the two-mile-five-furlong Grade Two, which has been won in recent years by the likes of Politologue and Simonsig, on December 18.

Having made a successful chasing debut at Ffos Las – beating the smart Fiddlerontheroof – the Grade One-winning hurdler lost his unbeaten record over fences at Sandown last time out after suffering an odds-on defeat in a three-mile Listed contest.

Fry said: “I was disappointed not to win at Sandown with the allowances we were getting. We learnt maybe more in defeat than if we had won.

“It was only his second start over fences and to jump three miles around Sandown is a good experience.

“We will now maybe come to Ascot before Christmas for the Grade Two which is over two miles five and a bit.

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“There are still lots of good races to look forward to and this part of the season it is all about getting the experience into him.”

One thing Fry plans to do when If The Cap Fits next appears is reapply the cheekpieces that have been absent in both his starts over fences.

He added: “His last few runs over hurdles were in cheekpieces. We had left them off over fences, but I think they will be going back on next time.

“As his owners said, the battle may have been lost but the war goes on.”

Plans for stable stalwart Unowhatimeanharry remain fluid following his comeback victory in a Pertemps qualifier at Aintree.

Fry said: “He has given us some special days and that was another memorable occasion. It was fantastic and great to see him winning races at the grand old age of 12 under top-weight – Kevin Brogan gave him a lovely ride.

“He is back up into the 150s now and you are either carrying top-weight in a handicap or you pitch him back in the races he has won before.

“He will tell us when he is ready again. It is just great he is still in love with the game and enjoying it.”

Though Fry will take plenty of plaudits for getting the four-time Grade One scorer back to winning ways, he believes owner JP McManus merits an equal amount of praise.

Fry said: “It was Mr McManus’ call to keep him in training and he was absolutely spot on.

“At home you wouldn’t have known he was a 12-year-old about to turn 13. We are at a new yard and a change of scenery has probably done him no harm.

“He is a four-time Grade One winner and doesn’t owe us anything. Wins like his last one are just cherries on top. We will just enjoy having him around.”