Soaring Glory Supreme plan yet to be confirmed

Soaring Glory is still not a definite runner at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jonjo O’Neill’s six-year-old was an impressive winner of the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last time out, and is fourth favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle which opens the meeting on Tuesday.

However, O’Neill and owner Pat Hickey have still to have the definitive conversation which will decide whether or not he makes the short journey to Prestbury Park from the trainer’s Jackdaws Castle base.

“I need to speak to Pat. He wasn’t mad keen on going (to Cheltenham), and I’m lukewarm about it,” said O’Neill.

“We just haven’t discussed it. We’ll probably leave him in and have a look, so that’s about as much as I can say really.

“There’s no real reason as such, other than Pat’s not a big fan. He loves Cheltenham, but he’d love to be able to go with a runner and enjoy it (in person).”

Soaring Glory’s Betfair win propelled him near to the top of the Supreme market, but O’Neill hopes he will be a star of the future as well as present.

“He’s a grand horse, but there’s plenty of time with him really,” he added.

“If he goes then great, but if he doesn’t then we’ll wait for another day.

“That’s what we were saying before Newbury, and we never really discussed it since, so we’ll just see.”

Soaring Glory scales new heights in Betfair Hurdle

Jonjo O’Neill illustrated his knack for laying out a horse for a big handicap when Soaring Glory swooped to conquer in the Betfair Handicap Hurdle.

Under the trainer’s son Jonjo Jr, the 17-2 shot looked to be travelling by far the best approaching the final flight and when given the signal, he accelerated away on the run to the line.

Soaring Glory pulled three lengths clear of Fifty Ball, with Edwardstone a length and a half back in third and Annual Invictus fourth.

Buzz in fifth was the best of Nicky Henderson’s three runners as Mister Coffey ruined his chance by hanging in the closing stages, while 11-2 favourite Cadzand failed to menace.

O’Neill admitted he thought he had a good horse on his hands when Soaring Glory won at Chepstow on his seasonal bow.

The Jackdaws Castle handler said: “After Chepstow, he fell when going too easily in a bad race at Wetherby. He was not a natural jumper and Yogi Breisner did a lot of work on him.

Jonjo O'Neill was delighted with Soaring Glory
Jonjo O’Neill was delighted with Soaring Glory (David Davies/PA)

“It’s great to win a race like this and we thought ‘let’s have a go’ as novices often do well in it.”

O’Neill will almost certainly look at the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, for which Paddy Power cut Soaring Glory to 10-1 from 25s.

He added: “He’s entitled to run in it and Jonjo is riding with loads of confidence. He’s super cool and he does the job right.”