Jamie Snowden insists it would be great if Reach For The Moon could ‘fly the flag high’ for The Royal Family at The Cheltenham Festival after giving the one-time Derby contender an entry in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The former John and Thady Gosden-trained five-year-old, who is owned by Her Majesty The Queen and former Arsenal FC Chairman Sir Chips Keswick, features among a total of 63 entries that have been received for the prestigious two-mile contest which will get this year’s Festival underway on Tuesday 12th March.
After tasting defeat on his first two appearances the gelded son of Sea The Stars emerged as a potential Classic contender when running out an impressive four length winner of the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown Park on his penultimate start as a two year old in 2021.
However, that was to be the final victory Reach For The Moon would go on to taste on the Flat for his former connections after subsequently recording six consecutive defeats, the latest of which saw him finish down the field in last year’s Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
And while Reach For The Moon, who is rated a 25-1 chance for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by sponsor Sky Bet, is yet to tackle a hurdle in public the Lambourn handler believes he merits an entry in the Grade One contest at the Festival given his BHA Flat rating of 105.
Snowden said: “He was obviously a very good horse for John and Thady Gosden and he was a leading contender at one stage for the 2022 Derby.
“He had a few little issues on the Flat hence the reason why he has ended up jumping with us opposed to doing anything else.
“With a horse that has that kind of rating on the flat we have to give him an entry in the Supreme, but we will see how he takes to everything over the next month to six weeks.
“Racing is steeped in the tradition of the Royal Family. The Queen Mother loved it, and the late Queen was a big supporter of the sport.
“It is wonderful that The King and The Queen that are reigning now are supporting racing as much as ever before.
“They have got a nice team on the Flat, and it was great to see them have a Royal Ascot winner last year in Desert Hero, who won the King George V Stakes.
“We have got some nice horses for them and hopefully Reach For The Moon can fly the flag high for them. We are lucky to have a horse of his talent and hopefully we can do him justice.”
Although Snowden has not earmarked a potential starting point for Reach For The Moon he admits he has been pleased with how the dual Flat winner has taken to his new discipline ahead of what could potentially be an exciting spring campaign.
Snowden added: “He is a very talented individual and he has taken well to his jumping. He did a lot of jumping when he came in off the Flat and then he went for a bit of a break back at Sandringham.
“He worked around the bowl (a gallop in Lambourn) nicely this morning and his jumping is great. Hopefully he will be ready to run mid-February.
“We will see how he progresses and runs first time out over hurdles and then we will make a decision.
“We don’t need to make any big decisions just yet, but we have stuck the Supreme entry in as if you aren’t entered you can’t run.
“He is a very exciting horse to have in the yard and it is great to have the support of the Royal Family.”