December 7 2013 Latest news:
By Simon Jackson, London24’s horse racing correspondent
Monday, November 19, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Gordon Elliott fancies the chances of Cause of Causes in the Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday, where favourite Darlan was on Saturday night withdrawn because of deteriorating ground.
Cause of Causes, a winner of four of his 11 starts, returned with a victory in soft ground at Fairyhouse earlier this month. And Elliott, whose string has been in tremendous form since his recent move to a new yard in County Meath, Ireland, this autumn, is looking for a continuation of that form.
“It was his first run for a while at Fairyhouse and we thought he needed a gallop on grass somewhere so it worked out perfectly,” Elliott said. “Davy [Condon] didn’t knock him around and he has come out of it fine.
“He has run below form twice at Perth but every other run of his has been great and he goes to Cheltenham with a good, solid each way chance.”
Meanwhile trainer Nicky Henderson confirmed after racing at Cheltenham on Saturday that market leader Darlan will not run in Sunday’s feature race.
“We have talked about it and I have confirmed Darlan will not run,” Henderson said. “It’s disappointing for everybody and it’s disappointing for us. We were looking forward to seeing him run.
“It’s gone very soft, it’s no-one’s fault, it’s been unseasonably wet and everything else.
“The Fighting Fifth [Hurdle at Newcastle next month] in all probability would be the obvious thing to do with Darlan, or the International or the Christmas Hurdle. But Binocular will be back for the Christmas Hurdle, we’ll have to jig it around and it doesn’t help, I must admit.”