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Fergal O’Brien eyes up Cheltenham Supreme Trial test for Kamsinas

Fergal O’Brien is lining up the Grade 2 Skybet Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday for his exciting novice hurdler Kamsinas.

Running in the recognisable colours of the Noel Fehily Syndicate, silks that were carried to success at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival by Love Envoi, the six-year-old impressed at Worcester earlier this month to win by eight lengths on his hurdling debut.

O’Brien enjoys sending horses to the first meeting of the year at Prestbury Park, which kicks-off at 1:35pm on Friday, and the boss of Ravenswell Farm is excited to run the £65,000 purchase in a race recognised as a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial.

“He’s a horse that I love who is very hardy,” said O’Brien. “He showed great attitude at Worcester and like myself, he carries a bit of condition, but he’s a good trier.

“It’s just over two weeks since his last run – if he was my own, I probably would be taking my chance with him this weekend.

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“Normally, we would like to try and win another hurdle race while carrying a penalty before going for a graded race, but this race has just come along at the right time.

“He will want soft ground – I think the ground at Worcester last-time-out was described as good to soft – so if we get a bit of soft ground at Cheltenham I think he will take his chance.”

A fellow novice hurdler stabled in Ravenswell Farm is Go To War who was an intended runner at Uttoxeter on Saturday before the meeting was called off due to weather conditions.

He also has an entry for the Grade 2 Skybet Novices’ Hurdle on Friday, but O’Brien is looking to start him off in an easier contest for his first run over hurdles, as he said: “If they get a bit of rain before Tuesday, he will head to Exeter to start off there.

“Exeter is a nice place to start off the season and the race is over two miles and three furlongs; we would have preferred to start him off over two miles, but we just want to get him on the track and get him going.

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“We love the horse and he just didn’t get the run of the race at Aintree [in the Grade 2 Weatherbys Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race]; he finished seventh at Aintree having won impressively at Uttoxeter before then.

“He had a bit of a blip mid-season as he was meant to go to Ascot after he won at Uttoxeter, but that was called off, and then he got sick, so it was a long time between running at Uttoxeter in October and then waiting for Aintree in April.”

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