Flame Creek is ready to burn up Ayr

SMURFIT Champion Hurdle disappointment Flame Creek is set to return to action at Ayr next month.

Noel Chance’s promising seven-year-old was sent off at 14-1 for the hurdlers’ crown but never made any show and trailed home a well-beaten 13th of 14 finishers behind Rooster Booster.

However, Flame Creek returned to Chance’s Lambourn base a sick horse and was later found to be suffering from an infection.

However, Chance yesterday revealed that Flame Creek is on the mend.

“We did some blood tests on him on Friday and his blood levels were back to normal,” said Chance.

“So all going well and if he’s bouncing at the time he’ll go for the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.”

The Samsung Electronics-sponsored contest is to be run on April 12.

Chance was relieved to get to the bottom of Flame Creek’s problem.

He said: “I was happy to find something wrong. I would have been scratching my head if that was as good as he is.

“If he had finished fifth or sixth I would have said he’ll never win a Champion Hurdle.

“I knew before he ran, in the saddling boxes, he wasn’t himself but what can you do at that late stage? So it wasn’t a big surprise to see him run as badly as he did.”

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