Racing: Sharpical sharpened for Newbury return

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The Independent Online
SHARPICAL IS to be primed for the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury in February, the race he won so impressively last year to put his name into contention, until injury intervened, for the Champion Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson's charge, who has not raced since that Newbury success, will have his seasonal reappearance delayed until Haydock this month and will not attempt to atone for last season's unlucky defeat in the Ladbroke Hurdle when he made a bad mistake at the final flight of hurdles.

"The plan is to get him spot-on for the Tote Gold Trophy," Henderson said, "with, hopefully, one run beforehand, probably at Haydock."

Sharpical's stable-companion Barna Boy has also been ruled out of the Ladbroke and will be trained for the County Hurdle at Cheltenham - a race he won in 1997.

n The weather is threatening today's card at Leicester and tomorrow's Ayr meeting. Leicester, where there has been heavy rain, will be inspected at 7.30am and Ayr at 8.30am today.

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