Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Solwhit heads for Auteuil

Solwhit
Solwhit

Charles Byrnes has confirmed Solwhit will bid to end a memorable campaign on a high in the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil on Sunday.

Despite a near two-year injury lay-off, the nine-year-old returned better than ever in the middle of last season, making the most of the enforced absence of legendary stayer Big Buck's by winning the World Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree.

He was set for a mouthwatering clash with wondermare Quevega at the Punchestown Festival in late April, but was withdrawn at the start on veterinary advice after blood was found on his nose.

The problem turned out to be little more than a scratch and he is now set to cross the Channel for a tilt at this weekend's Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil.

The three-mile-one-furlong Grade One was won 12 months ago by Willie Mullins' admirable grey Thousand Stars, who looks a possible participant once again.

Byrnes said: "He's fine at the moment and he's going to get the ferry over to France this evening.

"It's the end of a long season, but he seems in good form and we'll see what happens.

"He had a bit of a break after Punchestown. He didn't burst (a blood vessel), it was just a scratch on his nose, and we're happy to let him take his chance on Sunday."

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