Punchestown - At The Races

Harris leaning towards Doncaster date for Knight Salute

    Juvenile hurdler also has an entry at Cheltenham.
  • Monday 06 December 2021
  • News

Milton Harris is favouring an outing at Doncaster on Saturday with Knight Salute – despite giving him an alternative entry at Cheltenham.

Bought out of Andrew Balding’s yard for the relatively modest sum of 14,000 guineas in July, the son of Sir Percy has since won three times over hurdles.

Knight Salute completed his hat-trick with a Grade Two win at Cheltenham last month and has the option of returning to Prestbury Park for another JCB Triumph Trial.

But while a final decision will not be made until later in the week, Harris is leaning towards the Grade Two bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle on Town Moor.

He said: “We’ve entered Knight Salute in both races, as have a lot of other people.

“If you’re asking me where we’re going to go, the answer is I don’t know. We’re forecast a wet week and I don’t know he won’t go on slow ground, but we don’t know he does either.

“I’ll talk to the owners and see. Our preference is Doncaster as he’d carry a 5lb penalty in a £60,000 race and at Cheltenham he’d carry a 7lb penalty in a £25,000 race.

“I’d say we’re likely to go to Doncaster, but all the options will be kept open.”

Knight Salute’s potential rivals at Doncaster include Gary Moore’s Wetherby scorer Porticello, Dan Skelton’s dual winner Too Friendly and Impulsive One from Nicky Henderson’s yard.

The latter was thoroughly impressive on his first two starts over obstacles, but was no match for Knight Salute at Kempton in October.

The other Grade Two run on Doncaster’s Saturday card is the bet365 December Novices’ Chase.

The three-mile contest could see the Paul Nicholls-trained Threeunderthrufive and Kim Bailey’s Does He Know renew rivalry after finishing first and second at Cheltenham four weeks ago.

Warren Greatrex’s Emitom is also one of seven entries.