Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

Meade hoping it's all go for Native

Go Native could return from over two years on the sidelines in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on April 27.

Noel Meade's nine-year-old was sent off favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2010 following victories in the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdles, but trailed home well beaten after suffering an injury.

It has been a long road back for the classy gelding, but Meade is hopeful he will be ready for a clash with the likes of Hurricane Fly later this month.

"He is getting there nicely and if he was going to run, the Rabobank Champion Hurdle would be the only race he could run in," said the trainer.

"We are happy with what has happened so far with him. Everything has been going well so there is a good possibility we will have him ready to run, but how competitive he is going to be I'm not sure.

"It's fabulous to have him back and hopefully he will stay right, but it's when you start putting the final touches to them you begin to worry.

"It has been a catalogue of disasters since the 2010 Champion Hurdle. It all happened in that race, but his injury didn't appear to be that much at the time and we didn't think it was going to take this long to get him back.

"He has been off a long time so it's a big ask and he will have to do a few crucial pieces of work in the next couple of weeks."

A total of 11 entries have been received, with Hurricane Fly set to bid for his third win in the race and his fourth consecutive victory at the Punchestown Festival in all. His trainer, Willie Mullins, has also entered Quevega, Thousand Stars and Zaidpour.

Overturn and Zarkandar could travel from Britain, while Unaccompanied, Captain Cee Bee, Now This Is It and The Real Article complete the entries.


From Belfast Telegraph