Solwhit Shows All His Old Dash

Sat 19th Jan 2013, 14:08

Solwhit (Davy Russell) clear the last hurdle from So Young and Whatuthink
©Healy Racing Photos
Charles Byrnes summed things up nicely after Solwhit justified odds of 4/5 to complete a Naas double for Davy Russell (won the first on Morning Assembly) in the Grade 3 Limestone Lad Hurdle.

The Limerick handler said: "I'm delighted to get him back. I have no real plans now – he'll be entered in the World Hurdle.

"It'll be an option but I don't know whether he'll go or not. We might consider France as we'd be guaranteed soft ground there.

"He was well-in today so maybe we shouldn't be getting too carried away. He travelled well though and he looks back to somewhere near his best.

"The ground has never been a worry with him. When he won at Aintree it was on the good side. I don't think there's anything for him between now and March.

"I had him entered in a Champion Hurdle trial today as well (would have been run at Haydock if that meeting had been staged). It's on now at Doncaster in a week's time but he won't go there.

"It's a pity they didn't put it back another week as he was well-in there, getting eight pounds off other graded horses."

< Solwhit moved and jumped with all his old sparkle through the two mile three furlong journey and he was going better than his market-rival, So Young, when that one made a mistake at the last. Four lengths eventually split the pair.

Stan James cut Solwhit into 14/1 (from 25's) for the World Hurdle, while Paddy Power were even more impressed and go 10/1 (from 18/1). William Hill make him 12/1 from 20's.

Boylesports go 12/1 (from 25s) Solwhit for the World Hurdle.

(GC & EM)

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.