Goshen to miss Fighting Fifth clash with Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante
The wait to see Goshen return over hurdles will go on a little longer yet after Gary Moore's stable star was missing from the confirmations for Saturday's Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
The exciting hurdler, who unseated Jamie Moore at the last in the Triumph Hurdle in March with the race at his mercy, had two runs on the Flat in the autumn, but was pulled out of scheduled engagements in the Elite Hurdle and Coral Hurdle this month.
After Goshen was ruled out of last Saturday's Grade 2 at Ascot following an unsatisfactory scope, Moore said he would aim for the Fighting Fifth if the four-year-old scoped clean, otherwise next month's International Hurdle at Cheltenham would come into play.
Champion Hurdle winner Epatante was the star name in Monday's ten-strong entry for the Fighting Fifth and is set to return in a race trainer Nicky Henderson won with Buveur D'Air in 2017 and 2018.
Cornerstone Lad denied Buveur D'Air a hat-trick last year and is on course for the race again, although he will need a new jockey as Henry Brooke is sidelined with a broken neck.
Sceau Royal, winner of the Welsh Champion Hurdle and Elite Hurdle this season, remains engaged along with Ribble Valley and Silver Streak.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: "It's no surprise Epatante heads the betting at 4-7 and she's sure to be a very warm order with punters. Sceau Royal is looking to give his owners a famous double following Bristol de Mai winning the Betfair Chase and he’s 5-1 second favourite."
The Ladbrokes Trophy has a wide-open look to it after 19 runners stood their ground for Newbury's winter highlight on Saturday. Last year's runner-up The Conditional is 7-1 favourite with some firms just ahead of Aye Right and Black Op. Copperhead, Vinndication, Kildisart, Two For Gold and Sam Brown are others quoted at single figure odds for the historic Grade 3 handicap.
Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Sponsors bet: 4-7 Epatante, 5 Sceau Royal, 11-2 Silver Streak, 8 Ribble Valley, 10 Cornerstone Lad, 20 Marie's Rock, Not So Sleepy, 80 Solo Saxophone, 100 Millers Bank, 150 Voix Du Reve
Ladbrokes Trophy Chase
Sponsors bet: 7 The Conditional, Aye Right, 8 Black Op, Copperhead, Two For Gold, Vinndication, 9 Kildisart, 10 Sam Brown, 12 Cloth Cap, Secret Investor, 16 bar.
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