Excitement continues to mount ahead of the eagerly anticipated Cheltenham Festival, and now the Champion Hurdle (on Tuesday 13th March) has welcomed another exciting entrant to its ranks in the form of 6-year-old Elgin.
The Alan King-trained Gelding has enjoyed an exceptional season so far, having secured a competitive handicap at Ascot, the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.
His latest triumph prompted connections to seriously consider him for the impending Champion Hurdle, and he was duly added to the field on Wednesday at a cost of £20,000.
Elgin now stands as one of the 15 confirmed runners for the 2-mile hurdling showpiece.
He lines up alongside an impressive collection of Nicky Henderson-trained runners including defending champion Buveur D’Air, three-time Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours, Charli Parcs and Verdana Blue.
Mullins and co. will also be bringing some fierce competition to the field with 2015 Champion Hurdle hero Faugheen, Min, Wicklow Brave, Melon, and Yorkhill.
Gordon Elliot’s Mick Jazz and Apple’s Jade are also expected to feature, but the latter may well contest the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle later in the afternoon.
Finally, Dan Skelton’s Ch’tibello, Henry de Bromhead’s Identity Thief and the Evan Williams-trained John Constable complete the list of provisional Champion Hurdle runners.
Speaking of Elgin’s chances, trainer King said, “He goes in any sort of ground. If you take the favourite (Buveur D’Air) out, it is wide open after that. He progressed the right way through.
“He is much more the finished article this year. I would have said he learned a lot from running in the Supreme (Novices’ Hurdle) last season. He had never been quick and I think that made a man of him and he did very well through the summer.”
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