Booster on Cognac trail again

ROOSTER BOOSTER, runner-up to Sacundai in the Martell Cognac Aintree Hurdle 12 months ago, will bid to go one better in the Grade One contest tomorrow.

The Philip Hobbs-trained grey, first and second in the last two runnings of the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, is among a field of 11 declared at yesterday’s 48-hour final declaration stage.

The Minehead trainer also runs Monkerhostin, who won the Coral Cup at last month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Jonjo O’Neill is strong handed with three runners in the £150,000 added event over two and a half miles.

He saddles Coral Cup third Rhinestone Cowboy, who will be ridden by owners John and Sue Magnier’s son J P, Champion Hurdle third Intersky Falcon and Quazar.

Intersky Falcon is owned by the 30-plus members of that includes Alan Shearer, the Newcastle striker.

Syndicate member Terry McDermott, the former Liverpool and Newcastle star, has high hopes for Falcon.

He said: “Everyone kept telling me that we couldn’t win the Champion Hurdle because of the hill and that the track wouldn’t suit him. If that is the case, he didn’t do bad to finish third, and we are back on a flat track this time.

“Jonjo is convinced that he will get the two and half miles so we are going there hopeful and he should be a decent each-way price.

“It is 2-1 to Rooster Booster, who has beaten us in two Champion Hurdles and we have beaten him on a flat track, at Kempton.

“Our horse won in a canter around Aintree two years ago and although everyone has Rooster Booster to beat, there is no reason why we can’t beat him.”

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