In class, a beaten favourite in the Tolworth Hurdle might fall.
Following Authorised Speed’s loss in the Tolworth Hurdle, Gary Moore may lower his expectations for the horse. The Champion Bumper fifth-place finisher now needs to demonstrate that he is competent enough to compete in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
After two impressive victories over timber prior to Christmas, the son of Authorised was set as the 5-4 favourite to win the Sandown Grade One.
However, he was unable to put Jamie Moore in harm’s way as Paul Nicholls’ Tahmuras won the fight. He faded calmly with two outs to cast doubt on his chances of competing in the Cheltenham Festival.
After the race, the six-year-old gelding was said to have scoped dirty, and his trainer is now considering swimming in calmer waters for his next outing before deciding whether or not to take him to the Prestbury Park opener.
“He had a bad scope after the race, but if I didn’t know that I would say he is fine,” said Moore.
“Obviously he hasn’t done a lot this week, but we have to put the race behind us and move on.
“I’m not too sure where he goes next, but I might just try to find a novice hurdle for a horse that’s not won more than two races. If I can find one of them, it might just be what I do.
“He will have an entry (for the Supreme) but he has to go and prove he’s good enough to go there.
“We did it last year and ran him in the (Champion) bumper, which he ran well in, but you don’t get a lot for finishing seventh do you, and you don’t want the horse having a hard race for nothing.”
Moore, on the other hand, maintains a great deal of faith in Authorized Speed and is convinced that his performance at Sandown was not an accurate representation of his abilities.
On the Tolworth run, he added: “It was 100 per cent not his true running, he’s a lot better than that. I’m not taking anything away from the winner, but that wasn’t his true running at all.”