International Hurdle runner-by-runner guide as Song For Someone faces 6 rivals

Song For Someone is back to defend his crown.

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Song For Someone faces six rivals at Cheltenham on Saturday as Tom Symonds’ charge attempts to defend his International Hurdle title.

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The German-bred horse – a 6/1 winner when beating Silver Streak by a nose in last year’s renewal – runs for the second time this term after placing second behind Buzz in November’s Ascot Hurdle.

Ballyadam and Sceau Royal are back for another crack after finishing third and fourth in the 2020 International Hurdle – and you can swot up on the runners and riders below.

Sceau Royal

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Daryl Jacob Age: 9 Weight: 11st 6lbs

Very smart hurdler/chaser who has hit the ground running over the smaller obstacles this term, winning Kempton listed and Grade 2 Elite at Wincanton. Good 1½ lengths third in Fighting Fifth latest.

Song For Someone

Trainer: Tom Symonds Jockey: Aidan Coleman Age: 6 Weight: 11st 6lbs

Won this 12 months ago. Lost his way in the spring but firmly back on track after wind surgery when second in Ascot Grade 2 on return 3 weeks ago. Should make a bold bid to defend crown.

Ballyadam

Trainer: Henry de Bromhead Jockey: Rachael Blackmore Age: 6 Weight: 11st 3lbs

Smart novice hurdler last season, although he wasn’t at best when well-held second in Supreme at Festival in March. Runner-up on completed start over fences this term. Bit to find.

Wilde About Oscar

Trainer: Dan Skelton Jockey: Harry Skelton Age: 6 Weight: 11st 2lbs

Developed into a smart novice hurdler last term. Faded after travelling well long way on 2½m Aintree return and this drop back in trip may help.

Guard Your Dreams

Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 5 Weight: 11st 0lbs

From a yard which knows what it takes to win this and he’s advanced his form again this term, winning a 2½m course handicap before third (Song For Someone second) in Ascot Grade 2.

Hunters Call

Trainer: Olly Murphy Jockey: Sean Bowen Age: 11 Weight: 11st 0lbs

Recorded a smart and career-best performance at the age of 11 when readily landing a 19.5f Bangor handicap on his reappearance a month ago. Might be vulnerable to younger legs at this level, though.

Heaven Help Us

Trainer: Paul Hennessy Jockey: D. E. Mullins Age: 7 Weight: 10st 11lbs

Smart hurdler who bolted up in Coral Cup at Festival in March. Off 7 months, better than result when sixth in Punchestown listed on return, yet to be asked for effort when mistake 2 out. Down in trip.

Timeform Verdict: SONG FOR SOMEONE probably ran as well as he’s ever done when attempting to concede 6lb to Buzz on his Ascot reappearance so is fancied to repeat last year’s success in this. Sceau Royal has very much returned at the top of his game so he’s feared most ahead of Guard Your Dreams, who was only just over 2 lengths behind the selection at Ascot.

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