Solwhit strikes Naas gold

Solwhit showed his rivals a clean pair of heels as he ran out a comfortable winner of the Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.

Solwhit strikes Naas gold

Solwhit showed his rivals a clean pair of heels as he ran out a comfortable winner of the Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.

The nine-year-old is a six-time Grade One winner but only returned to action last month after being sidelined by injury for nearly two years.

Second at Punchestown on his return, the outing had clearly done Solwhit (4-5 favourite) the world of good as he cruised up to brave front-runner Whatuthink coming to the penultimate flight.

Davy Russell only had to give the signal for his mount to edge in front and although So Young tried to make a battle of it, Solwhit was in a different class and cruised home by four lengths.

Paddy Power make the Charles Byrnes-trained Solwhit a 10-1 chance from 18-1 for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Byrnes said: ``I'm delighted to get him back. I have no real plans now - he'll be entered in the World Hurdle.

“It’ll be an option but I don’t know whether he’ll go or not. We might consider France as we’d be guaranteed soft ground there.

“He was well-in today so maybe we shouldn’t be getting too carried away. He travelled well though and he looks back to somewhere near his best.

“The ground has never been a worry with him. When he won at Aintree it was on the good side. I don’t think there’s anything for him between now and March.

“I had him entered in a Champion Hurdle trial today as well (at Haydock’s abandoned meeting). It’s on now at Doncaster in a week’s time but he won’t go there.

“It’s a pity they didn’t put it back another week as he was well-in there, getting 8lb off other graded horses.”

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