Big-race options open for Darver Star

Aintree and Punchestown to be considered for Champion Hurdle third.

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Gavin Cromwell will consider options at Aintree and Punchestown for Darver Star following his fine effort in the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

The Kalanisi gelding was rated just 104 a year ago, but has made remarkable progress during the subsequent 12 months, winning five times and placing behind Envoi Allen in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse before the turn of the year.

A narrow defeat to the top-class mare Honeysuckle in last month’s Irish Champion Hurdle booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival – and he ran a tremendous race in the day one feature to finish third behind Epatante and Sharjah.

“He’s great and came out of the race fine,” Cromwell said.

“I’m delighted with the run and we’ll go chasing with him next year.

“More than likely he’ll have a run somewhere before the end of the season. I thought maybe the two-and-a-half race at Aintree (Aintree Hurdle) would be very suitable – and there is also the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

“I’m not ruling anything out and all being well he’ll have another run.”

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