Supreme test awaits Al Dancer
Nigel Twiston-Davies has confirmed the Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the next port of call for his impressive Betfair Hurdle winner Al Dancer.
Having won at Carlisle, Ffos Las and Cheltenham before Christmas, Al Dancer recorded his fourth hurdles success in the competitive Grade Three handicap on Saturday.
The raw ability he has seems superb.Nigel Twiston-Davies
The race was staged at Ascot, with the original at Newbury lost last weekend amid the equine flu scare.
Despite racing a bit freely early on under the trainer's son Sam Twiston-Davies, Al Dancer was much the best of the 14-runner field and had the best part of four-lengths in hand at the winning post.
"He was quite free on the first two or three hurdles. He wears a hood, but he is a free horse," said the Naunton handler.
"He is quite a lively horse, but we have him quite calm now. He was good in the paddock and good everywhere - he was just a bit fresh early on.
"He is a boy - in a nice way - and just wants to get on with it. The raw ability he has seems superb."
Al Dancer is now 4/1 to win the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser on 12th March and he could join Angels Breath, also owned by Dai Walters and 4/1 to win the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, on that big stage in the Cotswolds.
Last year's Betfair Hurdle winner Kalashnikov was just gunned down in the dying strides as he finished second in the Supreme at Cheltenham and, given his racing style, Twiston-Davies feels that race is right for him.
"He will go for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. We were thinking about going two-and-a-half (miles), but Sam said he didn't settle well enough [at Ascot] and that you would have to go for the two-mile race.
"Dai has Angels Breath for the Supreme as well, but if he has first and second that won't be too bad!"
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