Utopian to be put away if ground dries out

Utopian's trainer Nick Gifford. Picture: Clive Bennett
Utopian's trainer Nick Gifford. Picture: Clive Bennett
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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Fontwell punters may have been treated to the only glimpse of the exciting Utopian this season.

The unbeaten French recruit hardly broke sweat as he beat Abruzzi by 12 lengths in the Live Pool Information At totepool.com bumper on Sunday.

It was a stylish display from the four-year-old son of Kapgarde, who crossed the Channel for 120,000 euros last summer.

Utopian’s West Sussex trainer Nick Gifford was delighted with the display in front of his home crowd.

However, he was quick to play down suggestions of a Champion Bumper raid – insisting his charge needs cut in the ground.

‘He hasn’t had a run for a while – and ran only once in France – but soon settled down on Sunday,’ said the Findon handler.

‘He isn’t a flashy worker at home but you only have to see him on the gallops to know you have got something.

‘We have waited to come to Fontwell – our home track.

‘We were due to run at the meeting that got abandoned last month.

‘His future will be over fences on soft ground, though.

‘He is only going to improve but it is highly unlikely he will go for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham – it would have to be soft.

‘There is a four-year-old bumper at Newbury at the end of March but, once again, the ground would have to be soft.

‘And if it dries up, he will be put away.’