A festive outing at Ascot is next on the agenda for Hansard following his coming-of-age victory at Newbury.
A bumper winner in Ireland for Charles O’Brien, the five-year-old was subsequently snapped up for £48,000 to join Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates and was sent to Gary Moore.
He won his first two starts over hurdles for his new connections last winter, finished fourth in a Grade One at Aintree in the spring and finished second to a race-fit Rubaud on his seasonal reappearance in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last month.
Making his handicap debut in the Gerry Feilden at Newbury, Hansard showed his class to get back on the winning trail and is now being readied for the £150,000 Betfair Exchange Trophy on December 23, live on Sky Sports Racing.
Fehily said: “We were delighted with Hansard in Newbury the other day. I think riding him for speed in a fast-run handicap suited him.
“We were probably a bit disappointed after Wincanton, but he hasn’t had that much racing and I think he’s just learning to settle and learning to do his job properly, hopefully.
“We’re looking towards Ascot with him just before Christmas.”
Another horse who will look to carry the colours of the successful ownership group to big-race honours over the Christmas period is the Fergal O’Brien-trained Kamsinas.
Having landed the Grade Two Newton Novices’ Hurdle on his latest start, the six-year-old is poised for a Grade One bid in the newly-named Formby Novices’ Hurdle – formerly the Tolworth – which for the first time will take place at Aintree on Boxing Day.
“That is probably the plan. He’s come out of the race at Haydock really well, so we’re probably looking at going to Aintree with him,” Fehily added.
“We were delighted with him the other day and Aintree should suit him well, I’d say. He’s an improving horse, so hopefully there’s more to come from him.”