High hopes for returning Barters Hill

Trainer Ben Pauling is confident Barters Hill can rediscover his best form when he returns from a 15-month absence at Newbury.

The eight-year-old has not been seen on a track in a competitive environment since being pulled up at Cheltenham in November 2016 on his chasing debut having slipped a tendon from his hock.

It has been a long road back for Barters Hill since then and Pauling is excited to get him back among the action in the Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.

Before he went down injured, the Kalanisi offspring had looked set for stardom having recorded seven victories, beating champion hurdler Buveur D’Air and Politologue along the way.

Pauling hopes he can get back to his previous level as he looks for him to prove he is worthy of a spot in the Stayers’ Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

“He’s in great order for Newbury,” Pauling told the Racing Post. “He’s been working with some very nice two-milers and certainly gives the impression he retains a hell of a lot of ability.

“We’ve put him in the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and he’ll also get a Coral Cup entry, but he’s got to come through Saturday with flying colours for those to become options. There’s no point being unrealistic.”

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