Cheltenham Festival News
|Tuesday 14th January 2014|
Our Conor Out to Challenge Hurricane
Hurricane Fly, the only horse other than Comedy Of Errors to regain the Champion Hurdle, remains the one to fear as the 2014 renewal approaches, with all trainers talking up the hopes of their various charges.
Dessie Hughes is the latest to be pushing his youngster, Our Conor, who made such short work of the Triumph Hurdle last season.
The four-year-old will have a second opportunity at The Fly when the pair meet in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on 26th January.
The build-up to the first confrontation was interrupted when he failed to appear until the Ryanair Hurdle in December, where he clearly wasn't as fit as either the Willie Mullins-trained Fly, or Jezki.
However, although beaten six lengths he is a horse of real potential and Hughes claims he will improve several pounds as a result.
Hughes knows all about training winners of Champion Hurdles having sent out Hardy Eustace to do so some years ago and claims of Our Conor: "He's 100 per cent, he couldn't be better.
"He was the last off the bridle at Christmas and it was just race fitness that beat him. I've no doubt that he'll improve on that."
He expects the next race to put him "spot on" and that he'll peak at Cheltenham as that's what happened last year with the horse improving with every run.
However, both Mullins and Ruby Walsh remain extremely keen on the 18 times Grade One, champion Hurricane Fly, who has looked in fine nick - not coming off the bridle to beat his field last time.