Racing: Space Trucker defies elements

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The Independent Online
Space Trucker is 8-1 from 12-1 with William Hill for the Champion Hurdle after overcoming a lay-off, soft ground and top weight in yesterday's Brannockstown Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Space Trucker (9-2), normally held up until the last moment, led early in the home straight, and was pressed by eventual runner up Sentosa Star who, receiving 27lb, hit the last before regaining his momentum to finish two lengths second at the line.

Space Trucker's run delighted his jockey John Shortt and trainer Jessica Harrington. She said: "John was swinging out of the horse two out and did the sensible thing by letting him stride on.

"Better ground at Cheltenham will be a help and, even though they say they are watering the track, I believe it will be very suitable for Space Trucker. I had done a far bit of work with him and he looks stronger than ever."

Shortt added: "I went wide for the better ground. The horse gave a very good performance, although he had a bit of a blow after landing over the last. I only rode him out hands and heels after that."