Ascot rescue lost Champion Hurdle trial

The Boylesports.com International, a Champion Hurdle trial and one of the races lost when Cheltenham was waterlogged last week, has been rearranged for Ascot on Saturday, making a seven-race card starting at 12.30.

The race will carry its full prize-money of £200,000 and will form part of a trio of top-class hurdle events which will all be shown live on BBC1. Starting times have been altered to accommodate the International, which is scheduled for 1.40 and will be the third race of the meeting. The BGC Long Walk Hurdle will now be run 30 minutes later than originally planned at 2.10, with The Ladbroke at 2.45.

"This will be a truly fantastic day's racing and probably the greatest day's hurdling ever seen," said Leon Blanche, head of public relations at Boylesports. We are happy to offer the full prize-money, as well as the £200,000 bonus for any horse who wins our race and goes on to win the Champion Hurdle at the Festival."

All 11 horses previously entered at the five-day stage will automatically be carried forward to Ascot – the final declaration stage will be on Friday – and Alan King has said that Champion Hurdler Katchit will run. Katchit was among an original nine-strong Cheltenham field that also included Binocular, the current ante-post favourite for next March's renewal, Crack Away Jack, Celestial Halo, Harchibald and Chomba Womba.

The Barbury Castle trainer admitted that Katchit would have been better suited by Cheltenham, where he has won on five of his six starts, but is nonetheless happy the International has been saved. "He will definitely take his chance at Ascot at the weekend," said King. "I think we need to be very grateful to everyone involved for putting the work in and getting this race on. Obviously we would have preferred it to have been at Cheltenham as he loves the place, but I need to get a run into him and I'm quite happy to go to Ascot. He'll work in the morning and we will just keep him ticking over as usual."

Ascot chief executive Charles Barnett commented: "Our card will exceed £500,000 – a first for jumping at Ascot. It is particularly good news that the BBC have been able to juggle their programme to include the Boylesports International. These things take time to pull together, and we were all keen to ensure that BBC coverage and the full prize-money pot were confirmed before we went public."

BHA media relations manager Paul Struthers added: "It's fantastic news that Boylesports and Ascot have agreed to support the rescheduling of the International, and thanks must go not just to them but also to the other sponsors and the Levy Board for helping to make it possible."

The JP McManus-owned Belcantista has been the subject of a major market move in The Ladbroke Hurdle. The six-year-old was on offer at 25-1 on Monday, but is now a best-priced 7-1. Belcanista won by six lengths on his first start for Philip Hobbs at Exeter last month and the Minehead trainer said: "He has good Flat form in France, he has raced round Auteuil and obviously he is handicapped on what he has done over there. He won easily at Exeter but the form is difficult to measure as the second horse had good bumper form but it is hard to know how good he is over hurdles.

"He could be well handicapped but I wouldn't say he definitely is. Off a mark of 127 he could struggle to win another novice with a penalty so I thought we might as well make use of it in case it's lenient. A lot of novices probably wouldn't cope with the more experienced handicappers but he is a very experienced horse."

Hebridean, a Group Three winner at the Curragh in May for Aidan O'Brien, makes his hurdling debut in the first race at Newbury today. Now trained by Paul Nicholls, Hebridean is as short as 12-1 for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March with Victor Chandler and Ladbrokes.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence