Hillcrest could head to Haydock next after Cheltenham mishap | Racing News

Crack novice hurdler Hillcrest could head to the Prestige Hurdle at Haydock after Saturday’s unfortunate mishap at Cheltenham.

Henry Daly’s seven-year-old went into the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle on the back of a three-race unbeaten run.

However, at the third flight in the Grade Two contest, the odds-on favourite was forced to shimmy to avoid faller Harper’s Brook and prone jockey Kielan Woods. Hillcrest’s rider, Richard Patrick, was unbalanced and exited out the side door.

The Stanton Lacy handler is now mulling over options for the huge Hillcrest, who is 16-1 with Coral for both the two-mile-and-five-furlong Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the three-mile Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

However, the Exors Of The Late Trevor Hemmings-owned gelding are in a quandary, with few suitable opportunities open to them.

Daly said: “If only I knew what the plan was! He is absolutely fine. Mick Meagher, Trevor Hemmings’ racing manger, and I have been mulling this over, as you can imagine.

“The opportunity of the Prestige Hurdle on February 19, which is about the only race he can run in now, is a possible option.

“It is one of those things. It really isn’t foremost in our minds – it is just that it is there.

“The trouble is, he has learned nothing and we have learned nothing. The whole point of novice hurdles is to teach them their job.

“Of course, you have missed an opportunity of teaching him his job a bit more.

“But I’m really not sure about Haydock. That is the only race if we wanted to run somewhere, but I’m not sure if that’s what we are going to do.

“We will take a view and see how we get on. Saturday was just one of those things. It was very frustrating what happened, but we have to move on and do something else.”

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