Peddlers Cross: in good order at home according to Donald McCainPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Peddlers Cross to return at Kempton on Friday
PEDDLERS CROSS, runner-up in the 2011 Champion Hurdle, will make his eagerly awaited comeback in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton on Friday.
Trainer Donald McCain had hoped to run Tim Leslie's eight-year-old in the rearranged stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Doncaster on Saturday but with the forecast offering little hope for that meeting going ahead, McCain has turned to Kempton's additional card.
"He did have the option of starting off in the Cleeve Hurdle over three miles at the weekend but that would really have only come about if there was nothing else suitable. With Doncaster's meeting on Saturday in the balance, Kempton looked the best place to go," said McCain in his Betfair blog.
Twice a winner over fences last season, Peddlers Cross has not been in action since finishing eighth when favourite for the Jewson Novices' Chase at last year's Cheltenham Festival but his major targets this season will be over hurdles.
McCain added: "He's had a long time off and has had a few niggles so we are hoping to give him a nice experience on his return to racing. He'll get a good surface to race on, he's in good order at home and it's time to crack on with him.
"There are no firm plans as to which race he will go for at Cheltenham - I'd like to be clearer in my mind about that but the weather has meant that we are a bit behind schedule on that front. Either way, Cheltenham in March is what he is being trained for, whichever race he ends up in."
A total of 245 horses have been entred for the six-race jumpers' bumpers card, including the Paul Nicholls-trained trio of Pearl Swan, Sam Winner and Ranjaan.