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Graystone takes Adonis test against Knight Salute at Kempton

Lucy Wadham is hoping Graystone can continue to surprise her when he lines up against 10 rivals in the Coral Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

The four-year-old has proved a useful juvenile hurdler, belying his pace-laden pedigree, winning two of his last three starts.

Though he fell at the last when leading on his penultimate start at Taunton, the James Summers-owned Graystone stayed on strongly to score over two miles at Wetherby last time out.

“He hasn’t done a lot wrong except fall in a hole at Taunton,” said Wadham.

“He really should have three ones by his name. I think he is improving with racing and he stays so well. He is bred to get six furlongs.

“He won over 10 furlongs on the Flat and he is by Dark Angel out of a Distorted Humor mare. He keeps surprising me.

“He started over seven furlongs on the Flat and with his running style you expect him really to peg out towards the end of his races, but he keeps going.

“The one thing he doesn’t like is being held up.”

Regular partner Bryony Frost has been claimed by Paul Nicholls to ride Rubaud in the two-mile contest, where rivals include unbeaten Knight Salute, Nicholls’ hurdling debutant Pleasant Man and the Nicky Henderson-trained Impulsive One.

So Aidan Coleman, who rode Martello Sky to victory for Wadham in a Listed mares’ hurdle at Sandown on January 8, comes in for the ride.

Wadham added: “Hopefully he will run a nice race at Kempton. The track should suit him.”

Like Nicholls, who has been through something of a lean spell, Wadham has been scratching her head about the form of some of her string, not having recorded a winner for almost a month.

Martello Sky was her last notable success and she will head straight to the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Wadham said: “She has had quite a busy season and has won three races.

“That (heavy) ground at Sandown was not ideal and she had a very hard race, so we immediately decided to give her a quiet 10 days and get her going again, but she is back on track and in strong work now, and it is so far so good.

“We could just do with our horses running a bit better. We have gone a bit quiet in February. Sometimes it is nothing, or horses are not handicapped to win, but it has been uncanny how they have gone from hero to zero. They seem fine in themselves and look well.

“People don’t really notice when it happens to us, but obviously with Paul it is front-page news.

“They have to be 110 per cent right to run, 95 per cent is not good enough.”

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