Superstar Champ In Contention For Cheltenham On Saturday

The J P McManus owned Champ looks to be the next big thing in his division being unbeaten since May and stepping up to land his first Grade 1 last time out.

He is in contention to get back on course as soon as this Saturday at Cheltenham in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle with trainer Nicky Henderson keen to see how he will handle the track with his sights set on the same race at the festival in March.

The seven year old is named after former Champion Jockey and Sports Personality of the year winner A P McCoy in the off chance that he could live up to the expectations the the jockey did and he is giving it a good go.

The Grade 1 Challow Hurdle at Newbury showed us clear indications that this horse is special and clear favourite to go on and land another Grade 1 in his future but the big question is, will it be at the Cheltenham Festival.

(Credit At The Races) “Champ came out of the Challow Novices’ Hurdle in good form,” said Henderson.

“It was another good performance at Newbury and Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham is something that I am thinking about for him.

“He did a piece of work last week and we were very happy with him.

“We are looking to go down the Grade One Ballymore Hurdle route with Champ.”

Champ is currently the 4/1 favourite to take the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Prestbury Park in the first race on the Wednesday of the festival, but if performing to his best on Saturday and winning the race he will go much shorter.

Birchdale, also owned by McManus and trained by Henderson, is also among the 14 entries for the contest at jumps racing HQ on Saturday.