20 October 2021

Williams rules out Ladbrokes Trophy tilt for Secret Reprieve

20 October 2021

Evan Williams has ruled out a crack at the Ladbrokes Trophy for Secret Reprieve but otherwise, as yet, has made no firm plans for last season’s Welsh Grand National hero.

The Llancarfan trainer reports the seven-year-old to have been back in training for more than two months after summering well.

“He’s grand – he’s big and well. It would have been the end of July, beginning of August time he came into work,” said Williams.

“He’s chipping way there quietly. He won’t go to Newbury for what was the Hennessy. I don’t know where he’ll start – but I guarantee it won’t be there. He won’t even be entered.

“We’ll see how he is and where we are with him in his work and see where we are with the weather and go from from there. I haven’t got a plan.”

Secret Reprieve just missed the cut for the Randox Grand National last season, but Williams has not given the 2022 Aintree spectacular a thought yet.

“The National would be nowhere near the forefront of our minds,” he said.

“The only thing we’ve got in our minds with Secret Reprieve is to see how we get on this autumn and go from there. We haven’t got the Grand National on the radar at the moment. We’re not even thinking of it at the moment.”

Silver Streak is being targeted at the Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Alan Crowhurst/PA) (PA Archive)

Although Secret Reprieve will not be in action at Newbury on November 27, another of Williams’ stars, Silver Streak, is set to head to Newcastle that day for the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Connections will be hoping for better luck after the grey was carried out by Not So Sleepy at the second flight there last year.

Silver Streak, who went on to win the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton a month later, was beaten at the Sunbury track by Sceau Royal on his seasonal debut last weekend.

“He didn’t jump with any fluency but has come out of the race in great form,” said Williams.

“It was probably badly needed – he was a bit ring rusty, and the winner is a horse we’ve always admired from afar. We had no worries about being beaten by a horse like that.

“He will go to the Fighting Fifth next time if everything stays as it is today.”

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