Darver Star© Photo Healy Racing
Gavin Cromwell has confirmed Darver Star an intended runner at the concluding afternoon of the inaugural Winter Million festival at Lingfield.
The Kalanisi gelding was placed in both the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham two years ago, while he has also finished second in a Grade One novice chase.
But having seemingly lost his way over the larger obstacles, the 10-year-old switched back to hurdles at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve and bagged a confidence-boosting victory by 20 lengths.
Cromwell is looking forward to saddling Darver Star in the £100,000 Weatherbys Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide Hurdle on Sunday, a race in which the trainer has also entered Wolf Prince.
He said: “I’m not certain about Wolf Prince just yet, but Darver Star will definitely go.
“I was delighted with him the last day — it was a massive improvement. As the race developed he warmed up into it and it was great to get his head in front again.
“There’s some good prize-money up for grabs at Lingfield and we’re looking forward to running him.”
The Co Meath-based trainer also has Fameaftertheglory entered to run in the £30,000 Winter Million Novices’ Hurdle on the same card.
The six-year-old has finished second on each of his two starts over hurdles to date and Cromwell is hoping he can make it third time lucky this weekend.
“He’s still a maiden, but he’s been knocking on the door and I think he warrants running in the race on Sunday, anyway,” he added.
“The testing ground will be ideal for him.”