Peddlers will not look for Christmas cheer at Kempton, says McCain

Emerging hurdling talent Peddlers Cross, who took the scalp of Binocular on Saturday on his first venture into the senior ranks, is unlikely to cross swords with the reigning king again until the Champion Hurdle. The new kid on the block will skip the next date on the top-level domestic two-mile circuit, next month's Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, in favour of the Grade Two trial at Haydock in January.

The five-year-old took his unbeaten run to seven in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newbury, a sequence that includes two victories over two and a half miles. The sharp Sunbury test is not considered one to play to his strengths, even though it is now established that they do include a highly effective burst of acceleration. "The speed he's got scares me to death," said trainer Donald McCain yesterday, "and he showed at Newbury what we see at home. But even so, Kempton would be the least likely track you'd want to send him to."

Binocular, who was more than seven lengths adrift on Saturday, with Starluck intervening, was ring-rusty on his seasonal reappearance – he jumped well but the outing will tighten him up physically – and trainer Nicky Henderson was quick to point out that the big day for which he will be honed is more than three months away.

But neither was Peddlers Cross, now alongside Irish challenger Hurricane Fly as second-favourite behind Binocular for the Festival showpiece in most lists, fully wound up. "I'm sure the other horses will improve," said McCain, "but so will we. Once he gets to the front he doesn't do a lot, but when Starluck came at him he picked up again. What he does is keep winning, which is what the job is about, and we still haven't got to the bottom of him."

The opportunity to see some of Ireland's title contenders, including Hurricane Fly, yesterday was lost with the meeting at snowbound Fairyhouse, now rescheduled for Thursday. Prospects in Britain are bleak. Some jumps cards this week have already been cancelled. There is an inspection at Folkestone this morning and Saturday's Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown is under threat.

Saturday's two chasing heroes, the Hennessy Gold Cup winner Diamond Harry and the gallant third Denman, were reported to have emerged from the contest unscathed. Denman will not appear again until the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Diamond Harry just once. The Lexus Chase at Leopardstown after Christmas or a prep at Cheltenham in January are the options pencilled in by trainer Nick Williams.

Today may be decision day forlast season's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander, whose meeting with Kauto Star in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day has been in the balance since he suffered a cut leg winning return at Haydock nine days ago. "The wound is still open, but it's healing better every day," said the nine-year-old's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. "But he hasn't been out of his box since Haydock."

This week could be crucial to Noel Fehily, who suffered a suspected fractured wrist soon after being named as Kauto Star's rider at Kempton, replacing seriously injured Ruby Walsh. Fehily will see a specialist tomorrow and has not yet abandoned hope of partnering the great horse.

Turf account

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Sheila's Star (3.50 Wolverhampton)

Won last time despite a troubled passage and the way she stayed on under pressure that day suggests that today's furlong-longer trip should be within her capabilities.



Next best

Monte Major (3.20 Wolverhampton)

Reliable type who has already won eight times over today's course and has a senior rider back on board after two efforts in apprentice hands.



One to watch

Quartz de Thaix (V Williams), a ready and improving winner over hurdles at Aintree last week, looks sure to continue his progress when sent back over fences.



Where the money's going

Tony McCoy has hardened as favourite to be crowned the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year next month, now 8-11 from 4-5 with Ladbrokes. Golfer Graeme McDowell is 4-1 second favourite for a one-two for Northern Ireland.



Chris McGrath's Nap

Desert Location (4.50 Wolverhampton).

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
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

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice