Harambe will now try and emulate Raya Star at Ascot
Having emulated Elgin by giving Alan his second Greatwood Hurdle in three years at Cheltenham on Sunday, our week-end hero Harambe is expected to follow in the footsteps of Raya Star (2011) by taking aim at the Betfair Exchange Hurdle (formerly the Ladbroke) at Ascot on December.
Alan revealed that Harambe “worked exceptionally well last Friday”, but in view of the fact that he suffered “a blip” the previous week, the boss, like everyone else at Barbury, was more hopeful than confident about his prospects in the Grade 3 feature, hence the starting price of 16-1!
However, Charlotte Burke, Alan’s entrusted sidekick in the stable office and who has an interest in Harambe, owner Niall Farrell having encouraged plenty of people in the yard to get involved in a syndicate, still had sufficient faith to have a little bet each-way at 18-1, so no wonder she was all smiles at Cheltenham.
Alan was particularly delighted for Niall, who has been an owner in the yard for the best part of 15 years and had that good horse The Hairy Lemon, who won six races in his colours, including a good novice chase at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting.
Niall said:”We have had Harambe since he was a baby, from bumpers through to novices and then handicap hurdles, but we pencilled in the Greatwood some while ago.
“Everything was going smoothly in his preparation until last week’s hiccup, but happily he bounced back in his final workout, so we were able to take our chance.”
Alan, who missed a rare trip to Cheltenham but gave it plenty of vocal by the television set, said:”Harambe is not the type who will stand a lot of racing, but he has a month before Ascot and that looks the logical target. He’s a gorgeous horse and will make a lovely chaser, but that will be next season.
“Tom Bellamy, who is now our number two, following Wayne Hutchinson’s retirement, gave Harambe a great ride. The horse was too fresh on his comeback at Chepstow, so I told Tom to get him settled and focus on getting involved in the second half of the race, and it worked out a treat.”