Darlan in imperious form on gallops
Our gallops reporter has been to Seven Barrows where Darlan impressed in his preparations for the Contenders Hurdle.
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DARLAN looked in imperious form limbering up for a shot at the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown this weekend.
Nicky Henderson has let the Champion Hurdle favourite progress steadily towards that Festival target after he was forced to miss a couple of pre-Christmas engagements owing to unsuitable ground.
In the end the trainer's hand was forced and Darlan showed up at Kempton on going softer than ideal, only to pulverise his foes in the Christmas Hurdle.
He stretched happily on the all-weather strip and seems in the form of his life with Cheltenham getting ever closer.
OSCARA DARA is entered in a handicap at the same meeting but is more likely to act as substitute for Oscar Whisky in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, highlight of Ffos Las's season there on Saturday.
In the silks of racecourse owner Dai Walters, Oscara Dara ran right away with the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle after being switched from fencing.
He has gained the right to have his sights raised and after working well this morning should be hard to beat.
UTOPIE DES BORDES has shown promise since his arrival from France.
He caught the eye this morning and could also go to Ffos Las.
ROBERTO GOLDBACK looked in good order in some light work and could show up in the old Mildmay/Cazalet Chase at Sandown.
GLORIOUS TWELFTH strode out in engaging style and will probably tackle a novices' handicap hurdle on that Esher card.