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Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Chase career not over for former Stayers' Hurdle winner

Cole Harden unable to match Its'afreebee at Wetherby
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Warren Greatrex has not ruled out giving Cole Harden another run over fences despite confirming the horse's next start will be back over hurdles on Sunday.

The 2015 Stayers' Hurdle winner finished a beaten odds-on favourite behind Its'afreebee when he tackled his first novice chase at Wetherby this month and is set to contest the Grade 2 Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

"It wouldn't be the end of chasing for the season," Greatrex said. "The honest truth is the owners are going away for January and there wasn't anything they were interested in pursuing over fences.


Relkeel Hurdle entries


"I was critical after his first novice chase. I was probably being a bit harsh and jumped the gun a bit. In hindsight it could have been a good run. He has come out of his chase extremely well. I might fit cheekpieces as well on Sunday, which could make a huge difference."

In defence of his Stayers' hurdle crown Cole Harden could finish only fourth behind Thistlecrack, who in contrast to Cole Harden and stablemate One Track Mind, winner of the Punchestown Stayers' Hurdle and beaten twice over fences, has made a smooth transition to chasing.

Greatrex added: "Cole Harden will get an entry in the Sun Bet Stayers' Hurdle and so will One Track Mind the way things are.

"I'm very happy with Cole Harden and after looking at the entries I was even happier. He is very versatile and working as well as he has done in a long time."

I was critical after his first novice chase. I was probably being a bit harsh and jumped the gun a bit. In hindsight it could have been a good run
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