Champion Espoir D’Allen has earned a rest

Wednesday, Mar 13 2019

Champion Hurdle hero Espoir D’Allen is unlikely to run again this season.

The five-year-old caused a shock in the opening-day highlight and propelled his trainer Gavin Cromwell into the spotlight.

Cromwell still works as a farrier, and had even put the shoes on beaten favourite Apple’s Jade last week.

“Espoir D’Allen is really well this morning, though I’d say it’s very unlikely we’ll see him again this year,” said Cromwell in his blog for Betdaq.

“We are very lucky to have him and we’ll campaign him around a repeat bid at the Champion Hurdle next season.

“Being only a five-year-old, I’m pretty sure he has plenty of improvement in him – but based on yesterday, I actually don’t think he really needs to. He did it so impressively that it will take a really good one to beat him.

“It’s by far the highlight of my training career so far. I train 45 horses, so for a yard of our size to be involved with a Champion Hurdle winner really is what dreams are made of. Hopefully we can improve the quality of horses we have and keep growing as a yard in the future.”

The deposed champion Buveur D’Air, an early faller, could be heading to Aintree next month.

Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “He was fine this morning, and there was no problems. I mentioned it (Aintree) to (owner) JP (McManus) this morning.

“He had a race and finished it, but he didn’t have a jockey on board – and apparently you have to have one.”

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