Scriptwriter sights set on Ebor after going close at the weekend

Milton Harris’ Scriptwriter has a York return on his agenda before new connections take aim at the Melbourne Cup.

The four-year-old is a Grade Two-winning hurdler who took the Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle in November and went on to place fifth in the Grade One Jewson Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree on the last run of his National Hunt campaign.

He was in action on the level in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot over a mile and three-quarters, finishing seventh of 16 at 40-1.

Last weekend’s John Smith’s Silver Cup at York saw him step out of handicap company and into a Group Three, where he was only narrowly beaten, coming home a neck behind William Haggas’ seasoned Group-race performer Hamish.

Both the course and distance seemed to suit and Scripwrtier will encounter both again as he holds an entry for the Sky Bet Ebor, York’s headline handicap that offers £300,000 to the winner in late August – plus, for the first time, a guaranteed ticket to the ‘race that stops a nation’.

“I was a bit frustrated at first as I think this horse gets to the front and then stops and that’s what he did,” Harris said.

“The jockey didn’t really do much wrong, but a few yards ahead of the line he was ahead and after the line he was ahead again.

“He’ll go back there for the Ebor next, the Group Three was an afterthought really as I saw it and thought he may as well give it a go as he handles any ground.”

After the Ebor connections are hoping there is a date much further afield in the diary.

“He’s been bought from existing owners of mine by Australian owners and the plan for him is to run out there,” Harris said.

“He’ll go for the Ebor now and then into quarantine for Australia on a one-way ticket, I should think. The plan is for him to run once out there and then go for the Melbourne Cup.

“It’s not set in stone, but you’ve got to have a dream, haven’t you?”

Harris also provided an update on Knight Salute, the Grade One-winning hurdler who suffered a serious injury late last year.

The five-year-old is recovering at Harris’ yard and is faring well after a tense time when his life hung in the balance.

“He’s very well, he’s not in any discomfort and he does have a good quality of life,” said Harris.

“The plan is for him to go to one of his owners, who has some land and horses and is a good fellow.

“I don’t think he’ll ever race again, though you never know, but truth be told the vets would probably have had him put down.

“He wasn’t in any pain and he’s very comfortable now, he’s been a wonderful patient.”

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