Racing: Remittance close to return

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The Independent Online
REMITTANCE MAN, the former champion two-mile chaser, could be back on the racecourse in three to four weeks, his trainer, Nick Henderson, said yesterday. The Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on 12 February is one of the contests being considered for his comeback, while the stable's other outstanding two-miler, Travado, who fell in the King George VI Chase, will contest the Newton Chase at Haydock next Saturday rather than be rested.

'He went two miles on the bridle at Kempton, which didn't quite justify a holiday,' Henderson said. 'He was in such good form going into Kempton and was running a sweet race. So we might put the holiday on ice until Monday week, when we are preferably pounds 50,000 richer'.

While those two chasers move back on to the pitch, some of the season's top hurdlers are heading for the treatment room. A cut leg sustained in Kempton's Christmas Hurdle, when fourth to Muse, will keep Halkopous off the track until the Cheltenham Festival, while David Nicholson's Carobee and Pat Flynn's Montelado are out for the season.

Halkopous's trainer, Mark Tompkins, said: 'The cut was right down to the bone and has been stitched. Having to race right-handed and desperate ground didn't help his chances either. He was never travelling and it was courage that got him to the second last.

'He would have been beaten there in a two-horse race. That race is the kiss of death as a Champion Hurdle trial.'

Carobee, who missed all last season, has injured a tendon but Nicholson has decided to make a Champion Hurdle entry for his top juvenile, Mysilv. The filly, who dominates betting on the Triumph Hurdle following three impressive victories, has been introduced into the market at 20-1 for the Champion by William Hill and Sporting Index.

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