Racing: Swan leaves home for Home

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The Independent Online
CHARLIE SWAN, Ireland's champion jockey, is in action at Kempton today, when he rides Home Counties for Nick Henderson.

Swan, who was once offered a job by the Lambourn trainer, rides the horse because Richard Dunwoody, Henderson's No. 1 jockey, has opted for another runner in the Walton Novices' Hurdle. .

'Unfortunately Richard is riding Scrutineer (who is trained by David Nicholson) and since our horse is in the same partnership, it was decided to bring over Charlie Swan,' Henderson said.

Home Counties, a 40-1 chance with William Hill for the Triumph Hurdle, was formerly trained on the Flat by John Oxx in Ireland, where he won over a mile and also finished fifth to Brief Truce in the Group Two Gallinule Stakes.

Ireland may now be the venue for Granville Again's next run following his scratching from tomorrow's Haydock Park Champion Hurdle Trial. The Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday week, and a possible meeting with Halkopous, Royal Derbi and Vintage Crop, is on the agenda for Martin Pipe's gelding. Pipe could also run Valfinet, an easy winner at Taunton yesterday in the race.

Valfinet, whose Champion Hurdle odds were cut from 25-1 to 14-1 by Ladbrokes after his completion of a four-timer, is also a possible for the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury on 13 February, for which 41 entries were received yesterday.

The definite news from Wellington is that Run For Free, the Welsh National winner, will take on Jodami, Gold Options and Tipping Tim in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock. Mark Perrett will ride.

This race goes ahead without Party Politics, who will now be aimed at the Timeform Hall Of Fame Chase at Cheltenham next weekend and a possible encounter with Pipe's Miinnehoma.