Peddlers Cross booked for Musselburgh
Donald McCain hopes to learn more about the potential Cheltenham Festival target for Peddlers Cross by running him in a conditions hurdle at Musselburgh next week.
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The 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up failed to reach the same heights over fences last season and connections stated their intentions to switch back to the smaller obstacles at the start of the current campaign.
The eight-year-old made his belated seasonal reappearance in a 'jumpers' bumper' on the all-weather at Kempton last month and was not disgraced in finishing second to a talented sort in Sam Winner.
Peddlers Cross is entered in the Champion Hurdle and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham, and his target is likely to become more clear next week when he runs over an intermediate distance in the Howies Restaurants Edinburgh Hurdle Race.
"He's grand and the plan is for him to go to Musselburgh next week," said McCain.
"We were just waiting for confirmation of the conditions as it was an interactive race. Now they have confirmed it we'll aim that way with him.
"It's over two miles and six furlongs and it should certainly give us a good idea about where we're going with him."
Another McCain inmate with Cheltenham aspirations is Super Duty, nailed on the line by the unbeaten Goulanes in the Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.
He is entered in both the Jewson Novices' Chase and the RSA Chase at Prestbury Park, while McCain may also consider a handicap option, depending on how the assessor views his latest performance.
"It's obviously a sickener to get caught on the line but we know he wants better ground and, all in all, it was a very positive run," said the trainer.
"I think we are planning to go to Cheltenham with him, but I'm not sure which race he'll run in at the moment. We'll see how he is and then make a plan."