Solwhit may swerve Festival

  • Last Updated: February 6 2013, 13:04 GMT

Charles Byrnes has revealed it is "50-50 at best" stable star Solwhit will line up in Ladbrokes World Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival.

Solwhit: Not certain to head to Cheltenham
Solwhit: Not certain to head to Cheltenham

Despite being sidelined for the best part of two years by injury, the six-time Grade One winner has returned seemingly as good as ever this winter.

The nine-year-old ran a fine comeback race behind the top-class Bog Warrior at Punchestown in late December and took another step forward to beat the talented So Young in last month's Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.

Solwhit is a 14-1 shot with the sponsors for the staying hurdle crown at Prestbury Park, but is far from certain to take his chance after losing weight following his latest appearance.

"We haven't really made any plans for him. We gave him a few weeks off after his last run as he came back very light," said Byrnes.

"He had two hard races quite close together so we had to back off him and give him a chance to put some weight back on.

"There weren't any real problems, but I think his last run took quite a bit out of him. He won't be running in either the Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran or the Boyne Hurdle in Navan next week anyway.

"I don't know whether he'll go to Cheltenham at this stage. I'd say it's 50-50 at best he'll run there.

"We will leave him in the World Hurdle, but it might be more likely we'll wait for the Aintree Hurdle. We'll just have to see."

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