Paul Nicholls: Old Guard to have Monday schooling session before being confirmed for Champion Hurdle

Paul will give Old Guard a shcooling session at Ditcheat on Monday morning
Paul will give Old Guard a shcooling session at Ditcheat on Monday morning

With just two days to the start of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has an update on his Champion Hurdle hopeful Old Guard...


"But if he schools well and is fine afterwards then he has every chance of running the next day."

I have declared Old Guard for the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday as he worked much better this morning. But after he cooled off he was very slightly stiff behind for the second day running.

My head lad Clifford Baker and I wonder if he has a minor muscular issue somewhere and we will be moving heaven and earth to get Old Guard spot on for Tuesday.

But after speaking to his three owners earlier today I agreed that we will not be making a firm decision about his participation in the Champion Hurdle until he schools over eight flights of hurdles at home tomorrow morning.

And if we are unhappy with Old Guard in any way after that then of course he will not be going to Cheltenham.

But if he schools well and is fine afterwards then he has every chance of running the next day.

The first sign of a problem emerged on Saturday morning when Old Guard seemed a bit flat when he worked with some of our other Cheltenham runners.

By his usual standards it was a little disappointing and afterwards he showed minor signs of stiffness behind once he cooled off.

But last night he was 100% sound and again this morning before our vet Buffy Shirley-Beavan checked him over and gave him a clean bill of health before his work out.

Either way we will keep people informed of the situation.


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