Cromwell full of hope for Espoir in Champion Hurdle

Five-year-old all set for Festival

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Gavin Cromwell believes Espoir D’Allen deserves a tilt at the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.

The five-year-old missed the spring Festivals last season, but has returned seemingly better than ever – winning each of his three starts this winter at Grade Three level.

Cromwell fully acknowledges his stable faces a far sterner test at Prestbury Park next Tuesday, but is relishing the challenge.

He said: “We’re getting close, and tensions are building, but thankfully everything has gone good so far. He had a racecourse gallop after Navan on Saturday, and that went well.

“He’s kept improving. He doesn’t show us that much at home, but he keeps winning – and that’s a very important thing.

“It is a huge step, but I think he’s quite entitled to go there – and hopefully he can perform on the day.”

Espoir D’Allen is a best priced 20-1 for the Champion Hurdle – with fellow JP McManus-owned runner Buveur D’Air the narrow favourite as he bids for a third successive victory in the race.

“It’s looking like a very good Champion Hurdle – Buveur D’Air, Apple’s Jade and Laurina are all top-class horses,” Cromwell added.

“I think he (Espoir D”Allen) stays well, and the hill should play to his benefit – I don’t think the track is going to be a problem.

“It’s fantastic to have a runner in Cheltenham, especially in one of the championship races.

“It’s very exciting times for myself and everyone in the yard.”

Cromwell full of hope for Espoir in Champion Hurdle

Cheltenham 15:30, 12 March 2019

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