Inglis Drever on road to recovery

LADBROKES World Hurdle hero Inglis Drever is recovering well after his season-ending injury and should be back on the track next term, according to owner Graham Wylie.

After pouncing late to claim the title of champion staying hurdler at Cheltenham last season, the seven-year-old, who also carried off the inaugural BHB Order of Merit crown, enhanced his reputation with wins at Wetherby and Newbury before falling at Chepstow.

A scan carried out after that run revealed a tendon strain in the nearfore leg similar to the injury that forced connections of Kicking King to abandon his Cheltenham Gold Cup challenge.

But Wylie says the gelding’s recuperation is going well.

“Inglis Drever is fine, he is responding to his treatment well,” said the owner.

“He is a happy horse at the moment and he is responding every day and we are almost certain that we will have him back for next season.

“January had been mentioned but I think Howard (Johnson, trainer) thinks we could have him for nearly all the season which would be great.

“Howard is very happy with the horse’s progress and he is very well in himself.”

Meanwhile, Wylie is hoping lightning can strike twice in his bid for more Cheltenham Festival honours.

The millionaire owner was lucky enough to have three winners at last year’s showpiece event with Arcalis, No Refuge and Inglis Drever all coming home in front.

But with the latter on the sidelines this year, Wylie is hoping Bewleys Berry can fill his shoes.

The eight-year-old is currently a general 10-1 chance for the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Chase and Wylie is quietly confident he can back up the two previous Festival winners.

“The SunAlliance Chase looked a very hot race not so long ago but a couple have droped by the wayside,” he said.

“He is a horse who would be waiting for the good ground. He will be going straight to Cheltenham now where we hope the ground will bring about that little bit of improvement.

“A few of Howard’s horses haven’t fired on their last couple of runs and I think they are all waiting for better ground. We are hoping for a good run.”

No Refuge is hoping to add the World Hurdle title to the Royal & SunAlliance Hurdle crown he won last year, while Arcalis is gunning for Champion Hurdle glory after his victory in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago.

“No Refuge ran well for a very long way last time in the Cleeve and then he just got tired very quickly and we are not sure if it was the travelling or the distance,” continued the owner.

“Howard thinks he will get three miles on better ground. He also said before the race that he would come on for the run as he hadn’t been out for a long time.

“He seems fine now and with a bit of luck in the World Hurdle he will run a big race.

“Arcalis will go to the Champion Hurdle a fresh horse. He was travelling well enough at Haydock when he swallowed a big lump of dirt and Graham (Lee) pulled him up straight away.

“I don’t think we’ll have to worry about lumps of mud at Cheltenham though! I think he has to have a chance on last season’s form and his win in the Fighting Fifth. Al three go there with big chances.”

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