Champion option open for Racer

With his form being franked all the time, Moon Racer has still not yet been ruled out of the Stan James Champion Hurdle picture, according to trainer David Pipe.

Moon Racer had Ballyandy behind when winning at Cheltenham

Off the course since beating five rivals, including last Saturday's Betfair Hurdle winner and runner-up, Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes, at Cheltenham in November, few horses can have been the subject of as much speculation in recent weeks despite there being no sign of them in public.

Pipe had originally been keen to get another run into Moon Racer before the Cheltenham Festival, but he has now resigned himself to going straight there.

However, despite recently writing on his website that the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle was "the principal objective", speaking at Tuesday's launch of the weights for the Randox Health Grand National, the trainer issued a bulletin that ought not to see those holding ante-post bets on Moon Racer at fancy prices giving up just yet.

"Touch wood, he's in good form and we can get him there in good form – whether that's in the Supreme or the Champion, a decision will be made a lot closer to the time," he told Sportinglife.com.

Sky Bet are betting non-runner no bet on all Festival races and offer 5/1 for the Cheltenham curtain raiser and 20/1 for the Champion Hurdle.

Pipe admitted that he was finding it hard to go anywhere without being offered an opinion as to which race was the more appropriate target for the 2015 Champion Bumper winner, who while having very obvious talent, also clearly lacks the experience ideal for one bidding for championship honours.

"If he was your horse, you wouldn't make a decision until closer to the time," Pipe said. "It's slightly different now because you can supplement horses for the Champion Hurdle so that can change the picture. If he's well and in good form, he'll be left in both races and we will see.

"He's in good form. The handicapper has put him up 7lb for standing in his box at the weekend, which I understand as his form keeps getting franked everywhere.

"Everyone said it was a slow-run race when he won at Cheltenham in November, which it was. It didn't favour the beaten horses, that's probably right, but it didn't favour the winner either. He wants a true-run race.

"We got two runs into him early on this season. We gave him a mid-season break and it just took a bit longer to get him going again. But he's well, he's on track and I want to try and keep him on track."

Read More at Sporting Life

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