December 6, 2021

Wonderwall a maybe for Ascot

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Champion Bumper hopeful Wonderwall has two possible stops on his road to the Cheltenham Festival in March.

A National Hunt Flat winner on his racecourse debut at Ascot on Saturday, the four-year-old prevailed by half a length ahead of the Nicky Henderson-trained Hamilton’s Fantasy, who is owned by the Queen.

Purchased for 105,000 euros from last year’s Goffs Land Rover Sale, Wonderwall is owned by Rebel Racing, a partnership formed by owner Phil Cunningham and trainer Richard Spencer.

Cunningham said: “He’s a lovely horse, he’s very exciting for us.

“He’s very good and he’s come out of it well – it’s all very exciting for us for the rest of the season.”

Cunningham has two Listed engagements in mind as the horse is prepared for Prestbury Park in March – a return to Ascot next month and the Winter Bumper at Newbury in February.

“He’s got a couple of options, possibly back at Ascot for the Listed race and then obviously there’s the race in February at Newbury,” he added.

“His main objective will of course be the Festival Bumper – that’s the dream. If he’s fit and well he’ll possibly line up at one, or maybe both, of those options on the way.”

Beyond this season’s Festival, Cunningham is hoping Wonderwall can develop into a useful hurdler and eventually come into his own as a staying chaser.

“We think he wants further, and he’s hopefully a three-mile chaser in the making,” he said.

“Whatever he does now is just a really lovely bonus. Obviously I spend more time on the Flat – and I think for a jumps horse, he’s really very athletic-looking.”

A son of Yeats, Wonderwall is as short as 20-1 for Cheltenham with William Hill, BetVictor and Unibet.