Not So Sleepy set for Fighting Fifth return

Cesarewitch third-place Not So Sleepy is expected to lock horns with Constitution Hill in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November.

Cesarewitch third-place Not So Sleepy is expected to lock horns with Constitution Hill in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November.

Hughie Morrison's 10-year-old was a widely unconsidered 40/1 shot for Newmarket's prestigious staying handicap, but proved he is no back number under an astute ride from Adam Kirby.

After ploughing a lone furrow for much of the last mile, Not So Sleepy was reeled in late on and passed the post third behind Charles Byrnes' impressive winner Run For Oscar, with another Morrison-trained runner in Vino Victrix splitting the pair in second.

Not So Sleepy dead-heated with Epatante in last year's Fighting Fifth and Morrison is keen to see him defend his crown at Gosforth Park.

"He was the headline horse in the race really. If he'd gone on a couple of furlongs earlier he might have set it up for Vino Victrix a bit more, but the winner won well," said the trainer.

"I think one of the keys to his longevity is he looks after himself and we'll have the same plan as the last couple of years - we'll go straight to Newcastle.

"If he's not good enough he's not good enough, but he's got to go and see if he can dead-heat with Epatante, again or give Constitution Hill a run for his money.

"He obviously likes it up there so we'll give it a go."

Plans for Vino Victrix are less clear, with Morrison undecided as to whether to stick to the Flat with the four-year-old or pursue a career over jumps.

He added: "I've always thought a lot of him and got disappointed last year, but he's progressing.

"I'm in two minds what to do really. The plan was to go hurdling with him, but we might reconsider now.

"The trouble is when you're rated in the mid to high 90s, it's difficult winning a race, so we'll see."

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