Song For Someone Emerges As 2021 Champion Hurdle Contender
December 15, 2020
Any racehorse that has won three Grade 2 contests in a calendar year is worth trying at the elite level. That is how Song For Someone performed in 2020, and those involved with him can seemingly look forward to a Champion Hurdle tilt in 2021.
Song For Someone holds off Silver Streak to win the Unibet International Hurdle in a thrilling finish pic.twitter.com/4sa2nOzwIy— Racing Post (@RacingPost) December 12, 2020
Trained in rural Herefordshire by Tom Symonds, the gelding by Medicean has what you would call a Flat thoroughbred pedigree. That hasn’t stopped Song For Someone making major waves in British National Hunt horse racing, however.
As today’s racing results will tell you, the two-mile hurdling division lacks the strength-in-depth of previous generations. Song For Someone has staked his claims in it, however, by doing nothing but improve all year.
Bred in Germany out of a British sire and an Irish dam, he first raced in the French provinces for Joel Boisnard before being bought by Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings in 2018. They sent Song For Someone to the little-known stables of Symonds’ and campaigned him in juvenile hurdle company.
He won minor races at Newbury and Warwick, setting up an ambitious tilt at the Grade 1 Anniversary Hurdle during the 2019 Grand National Festival at Aintree. Song For Someone arguably outran odds of 25/1 to be sixth.
That result set him up for handicaps last season. Unlike most other jump juveniles stepping into the open company, Song For Someone ran well and placed in black type contests at Sandown and Ascot.
Those displays gave his connections hope he could make up into a graded horse. Symonds has since been very clever with his placing of Song For Someone, and he was sent off favourite for the Kingwell Hurdle.
That race usually takes place at Wincanton but was switched to Kempton in 2020 due to waterlogging. Song For Someone delivered on his status as a market leader, coming with a late swoop to land the spoils.
The way he finished off the Kingwell suggested a greater test of stamina or more demanding track could suit him. He has proven both are just fine since, making a winning return in the Ascot Hurdle over almost half-a-mile further under a penalty.
Song For Someone made all the running completely unchallenged, but then faced much stiffer competition in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham. Returned the 6/1 second-favourite, he profited from market leader Goshen fading badly but still had to tough things out in a tussle with Silver Streak all the way to the line.
The low sun meant hurdles in the home straight weren’t jumped at Cheltenham, putting extra emphasis on flat speed and stamina in the soft ground. Song For Someone has a 20/1 antepost quote for the 2021 Champion Hurdle off the back of his victory in the International, and for some pundits that is each-way value putting him clear second-best of the British hurdlers in the market.
For an up-and-coming trainer like Symonds, the exposure that big race wins his stable star has achieved makes for perfect advertising. Smaller yards don’t often have the financial clout and powerful owners behind them to compete at the sales, but Song For Someone proves success is possible.