Punjabi and Celestial Halo, the first two horses home in last season’s Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle, set to re oppose in tomorrow's Boylesports International Hurdle. Punjabi prevailed by a neck from Celestial Halo in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and is making his first appearance since going down by a short-head to Solwhit in a Grade One contest at Punchestown on May 1. Celestial Halo comes into tomorrow’s race with the benefit of a recent outing, having recorded a facile 10-length success in the Grade Two Elite Hurdle on Wincanton on November 7.
The rest will probably only be making up the numbers as seven will go to post,, including Khyber Kim, who was successful on his latest outing in the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle at The Open on November 15, a race in which Medermit finished third under top weight. Medermit, trained by Alan King, also ran a fine race at The Festival last season when only finding Go Native a neck too good in the Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Ashkazar, trained by David Pipe and successful in the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton last season, reverts to hurdles after two outing over fences while the Charlie Longsdon-trained Songe is also switching back to the smaller obstacles. The final one in the field is the Oliver Brady trained Ebadiyan who will attempt to stake his Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle claims.