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Not So Sleepy is set for top prize

The Hughie Morrison-trained horse aims to win the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury

EAST Ilsley trainer Hughie Morrison believes Not So Sleepy has got his confidence back ahead of Saturday’s £155,000 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

Not So Sleepy currently heads the betting as the eight-year-old bids to secure the £100,000 winning bonus for his connections – a new prize introduced this year for the horse that wins the Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot in December and the Betfair Hurdle in the same season.

After finishing ahead of Monsieur Lecoq at Ascot, Morrison remains happy with the progress Not So Sleepy has made.

He said: “You don’t win a Dee Stakes [at Chester] with a three-year-old unless you’ve got a bit of class and maybe he has got his mojo back, maybe he has got his confidence back.

“He doesn’t sweat up or anything, but we’re very lucky really. He is a nice person, he can’t help himself,” he said. “He’ll go to the gallops and rare up, but he’ll go up there with huge enthusiasm and he’ll work really well.”

Having won the Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot, Morrison is now hoping to see more consistency.

He said: “He has never won two races in a row before, he hasn’t been consistent and we gave him a good break when he got beat.

“On the flat he has been consistent without being spectacular and he has been unlucky not to win a race on the flat this year or last year.

“He has had some good days, but not as many good days as his ability warrants.”

The trainer does believe that improvements are being made, but he still feels Not So Sleepy can find areas to better himself.

He said: “You need to let the horse do what he wants to do and fighting him is a pointless exercise.

“His jumping is improving all the time and he is very quick at his hurdles.

“When you win an £85,000 race, you can’t complain, but he deserved it and his rating [144] isn’t huge compared to top hurdles, but he has a lot to prove this weekend.”

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