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Danoli takes first strides on path to the Champion Hurdle

Danoli, who had looked likely to miss the whole of the National Hunt season after sustaining an injury at Aintree in April, is back on course for the Champion Hurdle after coming through his first piece of work since the accident on Saturday.

His trainer, Tom Foley, now has the AIG Europe Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in February as the gelding's first target. He will also enter Danoli for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and William Hill were quick to reinstate the horse into a market on the race that has been weakened by withdrawals and disappointments. They make him a 6-1 chance for Cheltenham, behind Alderbroook, at 11-4, and Montelado, at 9-2. The last-named is likely to be partnered by Jamie Osborne for the first time when he contests tomorrow's Christmas Hurdle at Kempton as Richard Dunwoody prefers to ride at Leopardstown.