Connections have decided to send Moon Racer out in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The eight-year-old was tipped to race in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the same afternoon, but attention has now switched to the day’s biggest race.
The son of Saffron Walden won the 2015 Champion Bumper although he raced only once last season at Punchestown before re-emerging to claim the Racing Post Readers Award Novices’ Hurdle at Perth on September 29 last year.
He followed that up by taking the Grade Two Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in November, but has not been seen since.
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Options were open for the gelding before joint-owner Bryan Drew told ITV Racing: “We’re going to have a go at the Champion Hurdle.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For me, it was a very easy decision to make.”
Trainer David Pipe added: “He’s eight years old but, as everyone knows, he’s only run six times in his life. It’s a brave decision but it’s one that’s well worth taking. It’s a wide-open race.”