Peddlers Cross chased home Hurricane Fly in the 2011 Champion HurdlePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Peddlers set to return to action at Haydock
DONALD McCAIN has nominated Haydock's Champion Hurdle Trial as the likely point of return for stable star Peddlers Cross, but the century-smashing trainer stressed he remains keen to discover if the former novice chaser could yet emerge as a candidate for staying honours at the Cheltenham Festival.
Had Cheltenham's Tuesday card not been abandoned, Peddlers Cross would have met Oscar Whisky in a 2m4f conditions event, but McCain is now resigned to choosing a 2m assignment.
"Losing the Cheltenham race has messed things up," said McCain. "It would have been the ideal race as I was looking forward to finding out if he's a World Hurdle horse.
"I can't go straight over three miles with him, which rules out the Cleeve, so now we've got to go to Haydock. At this stage I genuinely don't know what race he might run in at the festival but I can't go straight from two miles to three, so we'd need to find something in between first."
Champagne Fever won the Champion Bumper at the 2012 festivalPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
CHAMPAGNE FEVER, vying for Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle favouritism with stablemate Pont Alexandre, is set to step up in trip for the first time in this Sunday's Grade 2 Slaney Novice Hurdle over 2m4f at Naas.
The Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Bumper winner was defeated by William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle favourite Jezki in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and could be joined by stablemates Touch The Eden and Un Atout.
Trainer Willie Mullins said: "This race has been the aim for Champagne Fever and I would imagine he will run. I need to look at the entries before deciding about the other two."
Pete The Feat is now 40lb higher than when his winning sequence startedPICTURE: Getty Images
PETE THE FEAT, who completed a f ive-timer when landing Newbury's Mandarin Handicap Chase last Saturday, has plenty of options to extend his sequence, with trainer Charlie Longsdon outlining possible targets at Doncaster, Ffos Las and Sandown for the nine-year-old.
"Pete The Feat has been an absolute star," Longsdon said. "I have never had a horse win five races on the bounce before. Going up 9lb is what we expected after the Mandarin. He is now 40lb higher than when we got him and I don't know where the bottom is. I don't think we've got there yet with him. He's a tremendous horse."
"There are plenty of options. There is a Welsh National-type race at Ffos Las, the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster or a race at Sandown in about a month's time. We've got the Midlands National as a possible option, too. There are plenty of races and it helps he is not ground dependent. Although he has won his last two in very heavy conditions he goes on better ground."