Sam Spinner in shape for Ascot repeat

DEFENDING champion Sam Spinner will be declared today for Saturday's Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Sam Spinner ridden by Joe Colliver clears the last hurdle to win the Betfair Stayers' Handicap Hurdle Race during Betfair Chase Day at Haydock last November (Picture: PA)

Victorious 12 months ago in this Grade One contest, Leyburn trainer Jedd O’Keeffe’s stable star’s comeback at Newbury last month did not go to plan.

Sam Spinner, owned by Caron and Paul Chapman, was already beaten when being badly hampered at the penultimate flight where jockey Joe Colliver was unseated.

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“We were just a shade disappointed,” O’Keeffe told The Yorkshire Post.

“When you’re not travelling well, it’s more difficult to measure the hurdles.

“But he has come out of the race well and it is all systems go for Ascot.”

O’Keeffe was speaking before Remember The Days won Doncaster’s opening race on Saturday under Colliver who raced prominently to take account of the lack of early pace.

Owned by the Ingham Racing Syndicate, the four-year-old horse – who was running over hurdles for just the second time – is clearly one to follow after beating many well-regarded rivals.

Meanwhile, Northallerton farmer Peter Atkinson and his wife Lucinda’s Irish Roe was second to Equus Amadeus in the handicap hurdle.