Minehead trainer Philip Hobbs is considering a tilt at the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle, highlight of Family Fun Raceday at The November Meeting, Sunday, 17th November, with Gumball (11st 5lb).
Hobbs was previously successful in extended two-mile contest with future Champion Hurdle hero Rooster Booster (2002) and went on to enjoy further victories with Detroit City (2006), Menorah (2010) and Garde La Victoire (2014). He currently shares the record for most wins (four) in the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle with Martin Pipe.
Rooster Booster and Detroit City both carried the famous colours of owner Terry Warner, who also owns Gumball.
The five-year-old front-runner rekindled his form on the Flat in the spring with victories at Lingfield, Kempton and Salisbury. Following an encouraging third back over hurdles in Listed company at Market Rasen in September, he was the tenacious all-the-way winner of the Listed Sodexo Handicap Hurdle under talented conditional Ben Jones at Ascot.
Hobbs said: “Gumball is a possible runner in the Greatwood.
“The race is under consideration if ground conditions suit.
“I was delighted with his performance at Ascot last weekend and hopefully there is more to come now off his current handicap mark (147).”
Benny’s Bridge (Fergal O’Brien, 10st 9lb) sauntered to an eight-length success in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Podcast Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles at Cheltenham’s opening meeting, The Showcase.
Gloucestershire-based O’Brien is enjoying a really purple patch, with nine winners in the last fortnight at a strike rate of 39 per cent.
O’Brien gave an update on Benny’s Bridge, commenting: “Benny’s Bridge is in good form and the Greatwood is the target.
“He did it very nicely at Cheltenham last time and we were delighted with the manner of his victory.
“He has gone up 10lb for winning that event and hopefully he can run a big race in the Greatwood.
“He likes Cheltenham and we are looking forward to it.”