Flying in for Champion?

  • Last Updated: February 13 2013, 12:14 GMT

Classy Flat performer Flying Cross may make his jumping debut at the very highest level after he was one of 22 horses left in the line-up for the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

Rock On Ruby wins last year's Champion Hurdle

Third behind Sans Frontieres in the 2010 Irish St Leger when trained by Aidan O'Brien, Flying Cross was bought subsequently by owner Robin Geffen but is still to make his first start for new trainer David Pipe.

"He's still in the Champion and the Supreme Novices' and the plan is to run in one of them," Pipe told Sportinglife.com.

"He's been with me for a while but he's had a problem and we haven't managed to get a run into him yet.

"Time is starting to run out now and it could well be that he has to go straight to the Festival.

"That's obviously not ideal, but he seems to jump well enough and you don't get many horses with his level of Flat form going over hurdles, so he could well be a very useful recruit. But the only way to find out exactly how good he can be is on the track."

All of the big names remain among the entries for the Champion Hurdle, including the Nicky Henderson-trained Binocular, Grandouet and Oscar Whisky, Hurricane Fly and Thousand Stars from Willie Mullins, Zarkandar from champion trainer Paul Nicholls and last year's winner Rock On Ruby.

Grumeti remains entered despite a statement from trainer Alan King on Tuesday indicating that the horse would miss the race.

The others standing their ground are Balder Succes, Cause Of Causes, Cinders And Ashes, Cotton Mill, Countrywide Flame, Khyber Kim, Overturn, Peddlers Cross, Ransom Note, Raya Star, Rebel Fitz, Steps To Freedom and Zaidpour.


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