Silver Streak could switch to handicap at Ascot after disappointing Fighting Fifth run at Newcastle

Silver Streak disappointed at Kempton on seasonal reappearance and was again underwhelming at Newcastle on Saturday; he could now instead drop into handicap company at Ascot next month, having been dropped four pounds

Silver Streak
Image: Silver Streak could switch to handicap company after a disappointing run at Newcastle last weekend

Evan Williams could drop Silver Streak into a handicap after the eight-year-old produced a somewhat disappointing effort when fourth of six in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.

Having chased home Sceau Royal on his seasonal debut at Kempton, hopes were high that last season's Christmas Hurdle winner would show his best in the competitive Grade One event.

However, Adam Wedge's mount failed to fire and was beaten eight lengths by Not So Sleepy and Epatante, who dead-heated.

Williams said: "He is grand, but he just didn't jump and you can't win those races when you don't jump.

"I suppose he will be entered in the Christmas Hurdle, but I might enter him in a handicap - the Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle (formerly known as the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle) - because they have dropped him 4lb for Saturday's run.

"I might go to Ascot with him and drop him down. I was just disappointed by the way he jumped.

"We will have a little check to see that we are not missing something, but he is grand in himself and seems absolutely fine.

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"He popped over a couple of hurdles on Monday, just because I couldn't quite work out why he was so poor, but there was nothing obvious.

"We will put him in everything, so he has options. He will have an entry in the Betfair Exchange Trophy - the entries close today (Tuesday) and he will be entered in the Christmas Hurdle, and we will go from there."

The Llancarfan trainer is keeping a watchful eye on the weather ahead of the weekend, with promising mare Current Mood holding an entry in Sandown's Grade Two Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle on Friday.

The six-year-old has won two from three over hurdles, but Williams may swerve the race and stay nearer to home for her next run.

Esprit Du Large - could run in Greatwood
Image: Esprit Du Large could return this weekend at Sandown

He said: "Current Mood is entered at Sandown on Friday, but I would keep an eye on that, as the race I would really like to run her in comes at Haydock in a couple of weeks' time - a mares' Listed novice hurdle, which I think I would prefer to go to.

"I wouldn't want to sniff at any black type with her though, as she is a grand mare and I would like to find a bit of black type with her. She will be entered in all those graded novices' just to hunt a bit of black type."

Like many trainers, Williams is desperate for the ground to ease after a thus-far dry winter.

He admitted: "I have a couple of nice horses entered at Sandown on Saturday - Mack The Man and Esprit Du Large - in the Listed Betfair Daily Rewards December Handicap Hurdle, but they could do with a drop of rain.

Evan Williams
Image: Evan Williams has some interesting weekend entries

"I have a couple of nice ones in the Betfair Exchange London National Handicap Chase, but they also need a drop of rain.

"No Rematch is a nice horse, but wants proper soft ground, while Fado Des Brosses is another nice staying horse who wants soft ground and I'm desperate to get a start into them, but we have to do what is best for them.

"They have started to back up with me a little bit. I have a lot of soft-ground horses that need proper rain. It is very frustrating for people, but the job will come."

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