'All systems go' for Our Conor
Connections of leading Stan James Champion Hurdle hope Our Conor are hoping a strong pace will help him turn the tables on reigning champion Hurricane Fly.
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The Dessie Hughes-trained five-year-old was the most impressive winner of the Triumph Hurdle for many a year last season and part of the reason he looked so good was the strong pace throughout, according to his new owner this season, Barry Connell.
Hughes won two Champion Hurdles with Hardy Eustace, and Our Conor is expected to peak on the second Tuesday in March.
Having been beaten by Hurricane Fly in both of his outings this season, Connell feels the way the races in Ireland have been run have been against his star and is eagerly looking forward to Cheltenham having closed the gap from nearly six lengths to just over one in less than a month.
"He looks the one horse who is capable of improving again," said Connell.
"It turned into a sprint in the Irish Champion and that didn't really suit him.
"It's all systems go now, we're very happy with him and he couldn't be with a better man in Dessie.
"Last season he improved and improved with every run and that is proving to be the case again, he was much closer to Hurricane Fly second time.
"What we need is a true-run race and, being a Champion Hurdle, 99 times out of 100 you get that."