Cheltenham Open 2016: Simply Ned is set for a third tilt at the £75,000 Grade Two Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on the third and final day of The Open, Sunday 13th November.
The consistent nine-year-old has lined up in the two-mile contest for the last couple of years, finishing second to Uxizandre in 2014 and fourth to the great Sprinter Sacre last year.
Trained by Nicky Richards in Cumbria, Simply Ned has been placed three times in G1 chases during his career including when runner-up to Flemenstar at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival last year.
He made a pleasing comeback this season when a neck second under top-weight in handicap chase at Kelso on 1st October, a race he won in both 2014 and 2015.
Richards said: “The plan is for Simply Ned to go to Cheltenham for the Shloer Chase again.
“He is in great form at the moment so hopefully we can get him there in one piece and run a nice race.
“I know he got beat at Kelso this year but I thought he put up a tremendous performance against an improving, race-fit horse [Theflyingportrait]. We gave him lumps of weight [25lb] and in another two or three strides we would have won it.
“We will probably go back to Leopardstown at Christmas again. Then we might give him a break until the spring just to change it up a bit.
“He is one of those rare horses in that you don’t worry about the ground too much. I have always believed he wants a bit of nice ground but he has run really well on heavy.”
Simply Ned’s rivals could include dual Festival scorer Simonsig (Nicky Henderson) who was third in the two-mile Boylesports Champion Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April.
The Open starts on Countryside Day, Friday 11th November and continues on Saturday 12th November, when the highlight is the feature £160,000 BetVictor Gold Cup over two and five furlongs.
Accompanied children aged 18 and under gain FREE entry to the racecourse except during The Festival in March.
The Open also offers a great shopping opportunity with plenty of stalls ready to sell a diverse range of goods with something to suit every taste and budget.
After The Open, the next racing at Cheltenham is during The International on 9th and 10th December.