If Song For Someone was trained by Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls, Gordon Elliott or Willie Mullins, then chances are he would be a much shorter price for this year’s Champion Hurdle.

In a season when some of the main contenders have run below their best form, this star of the Tom Symonds stable has gone about winning consecutive Grade 2 races. Song For Someone is now a three-time winner at the second highest level over hurdles and yet remains largely unheralded.

Very much an up-and-coming trainer of racehorses, Symonds must be congratulated for how cleverly he has campaigned the yard’s flagbearer in the last 12 months. After all, Song For Someone can only beat the opposition put in front of him after winning in some smaller sized fields.

The temptation to run him at Cheltenham has been something his connections, Symonds and owners Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings, resisted previously. After previous victories in the Kingwell when it was run at Kempton last February and the Ascot Hurdle on reappearance, however, they decided to try their luck at Prestbury Park.

Only by running in the International Hurdle, under a penalty to boot, would tell them if Song For Someone was a legit Champion Hurdle contender or not. The setting sun meant flights in the home straight were omitted, but that is too easy a stick that detractors use to beat the form with.

Song For Someone toughed things out and prevailed over Silver Streak by a nose. The runner-up has since gone on to scalp old rival and last year’s Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle around Kempton.

With the Symonds stable enjoying such a fine season, running at Cheltenham again come the Festival has to come into consideration. That is why Song For Someone is among the early closing Champion Hurdle entries.

Whether we will see the horse again en route remains to be seen, but regardless of that he could be a bit of value among the many Cheltenham Festival day 1 tips that are out there. Song For Someone has clearly improved and needed to in order to back up previous Grade 2 wins off unfavourable terms.

As he won the Ascot Hurdle over almost two-and-a-half miles, he stays further than the Champion Hurdle trip, which is a plus for a race that is usually run at a strong pace. Symonds may also have the Aintree Hurdle as an end-of-season target in mind, but it is common for horses to double up and tackle both springtime Grade 1s.

Song For Someone is a progressive horse, and not many other contenders – even those representing fashionable trainers and top stables – can say they fit into that same bracket. As the racecard tells you, an official rating of 158 does leave him with a bit to find on top Irish horses, but the only way to find out how he matches up to them is to take them on in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

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