Neil King: Aintree bumper winner Lookaway waiting for soft ground ahead of hurdles debut

Neil King “can’t wait” to get started for the season with his Aintree bumper winner Lookaway, but will not be risked until conditions soften in the UK.

The son of Ask was winning a Kildorrery point-to-point this time last year before transferring to King for £170,000 at the Goffs December point-to-point sales at Yorton.

He went on to justify that price tag by winning at Newbury on his Rules bow, before taking the step up to Graded company in his stride to land the Aintree bumper in good style.

The form of that Grade Two contest got a timely boost when Leave Of Absence and Blow Your Wad – third and fourth respectively at Aintree – fought out the finish of an Ascot novice hurdle on Saturday and King has been pleased with what he has seen from his charge at home in recent months ahead of his own novice hurdle campaign.

However, the Wiltshire-based handler is in no rush with his star prospect, with Lookaway described as “far too special” to run on quick early-season ground.

“He looks absolutely tremendous, he’s summered really well and has grown up over the summer both mentally and physically,” said King.

“He hasn’t missed a day’s work and Jack Quinlan came in and schooled him last week on the grass for the first time and he was absolutely superb. I’m really thrilled with him.

“He’s not going to be running on this watered ground at the moment, he’s far too exciting and far too special for that, so we’ll just hang on as long as we need to and make sure the ground is safe for a proper horse.

“I absolutely love him to bits and he’s done nothing but please us. He’s such a straightforward horse, his homework has been very, very good and so has his schooling.

“I can’t wait to get going but he won’t be risked until it’s truly safe – I’m never in a hurry with my horses in the autumn.

“I tend to perhaps run them through the spring a bit longer than some people and I bring them back in a bit later. But year on year, more often than not, you don’t get proper rain, or the ground isn’t truly safe until the middle of November – so I’m not panicking.”

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