Starluck may follow Flat route to the Festival

Champion Hurdle candidate Starluck may have his final Cheltenham warm-up on the Flat after the loss of the Kingwell Hurdle, the last recognised big-race trial, at frozen Wincanton at the weekend. The grey's trainer, Alan Fleming, will learn today whether a replacement for the abandoned Grade Two contest will be staged at Kempton on Saturday, but may opt instead for a mile all-weather race at the Sunbury track the following Wednesday.

Starluck should have clashed with reigning title holder Punjabi at Wincanton, but Fleming is not keen on a head-to-head that bit closer to the Festival showpiece, to be run three weeks tomorrow. "The balls are still all in the air," he said yesterday. "The horse does need a race, but really only a good blow-out to sharpen him up, he's in great shape otherwise. I'm not sure we'd want a battle at that stage."

Andrew Wates' five-year-old, fourth to Zaynar in last year's Triumph Hurdle, is a 14-1 shot for the Cheltenham crown. His latest outing was in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, when he went down by just a short-head to Go Native, currently 4-1 Champion Hurdle second favourite.

Punjabi's trainer Nicky Henderson looked askance yesterday at Wincanton's abandonment as late as Saturday morning, too late to move the Kingwell Hurdle to Ascot, which survived the freeze. "It was disappointing to lose the race when it would have suited everyone to run it and everything was in place to transfer it," he said. "But if Kempton put on a two-mile hurdle at the weekend, Punjabi will run in it."

After a blank day in Britain and Ireland yesterday, the jumps cards this afternoon at Carlisle and tomorrow at Southwell are subject to inspections this morning. Today's fixture at Market Rasen was lost because of snow.

Turf account Sue Montgomery

Nap

Ancient Times (3.45 Wolverhampton)

Slightly disappointing on his debut earlier in the month but the experience should have sharpened him up.



Next best

Its Teescomponents (3.35 Carlisle)

Creeping up the ratings but won a better race in sprightly style last time and may still be ahead of the handicapper.

One to watch

Mister Wall Street (Ferdy Murphy) is one to look out for on spring ground.



Where The Money's Going

Day Of A Lifetime has been backed from 10-1 to 8-1 with Paddy Power for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.



Chris McGrath's Map

Sir Edwin Landseer (4.40 Lingfield)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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: Logistics Supervisor

£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Sales Executive

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Sales Executive ...

Recruitment Genius: Night Porters - Seasonal Placement

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Night Porters are required to join a family-ow...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn