Overturn in Champion mix

Donald McCain feels Overturn has earned himself a crack at the Champion Hurdle following another superb effort at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The smart dual-purpose performer has enjoyed a fantastic start to the campaign, winning at Ascot just a week before beating Binocular in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Turned out a fortnight later for the International Hurdle, the seven-year-old made much of the running at Prestbury Park before giving best to Grandouet up the hill.

“He’s come out of the race grand and we were obviously delighted with him,” said McCain.

“Jason (Maguire) said he didn’t feel quite as sharp as he was at Newcastle, but we’re not making any excuses and that’s to be expected after three runs in a month.

“The ground was a bit dead for him as well, but he ran a very good race.

“He had to give 4lb to the winner and he won’t be doing that in the spring and I’d like to think I can have him in better shape than he was on Saturday.

“We’ll stick at what we’re doing. We won’t rush him back and I doubt he’ll run in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

“He might run in something like the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock (January 21).

“I’m not saying he’s going to win the Champion Hurdle, but I think his run on Saturday showed he could run into the first four and that justifies us going there.”

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