Thomas plotting Cheltenham route for before Midnight

24 October 2021 19:51:57 CET
Before Midnight targeted for Cheltenham return

Before Midnight will be aimed at picking up more glory at Cheltenham in the Grand Annual Handicap Chase at the festival in March following his impressive victory at the track on Saturday.

Justified support

The Sam Thomas-trained eight-year-old won at Chepstow earlier in the season and was well-supported to pick up the biggest success of his career and duly obliged, beating last season's Grand Annual winner Sky Pirate - who is 66/1 to win the Champion Chase - by six lengths under Sam Twiston-Davies.

That win, which was Thomas' second winner at the track as a trainer, has left connections dreaming of success back at Prestbury Park later in the campaign, with his season to be targeted around a tilt at the Grand Annual but could also see him tested in Graded company for the first time in his career.

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A possible Cheltenham rival could be a rematch against Sky Pirate, who made a pleasing comeback in second despite having to give away 23lb to the winner.

Cheltenham the aim

Thomas said: "We'll be a bit ambitious and there's no reason why we can't not think about graded company - he's earned the right to be considered for them, especially if the handicapper raises him by six to eight pounds. I'm not a great watcher of my horses and I was pacing up and down throughout the race, but it was extremely satisfying."

He added: "Saturday was our Gold Cup though and really was the main target I had all season for him, so I was delighted it came off. We'll plot our way through the season with all roads hopefully leading back to Cheltenham in March."

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