Daily Mail

Marcus Townend



BLAZING KHAL has to step up on what he has done before but he has the look of a gelding who still has a couple of gears up his sleeve. He certainly ticks a lot of boxes for this race.

The Charles Byrnes-trained seven-year-old has the all-important course form in the book, having won on both his Cheltenham starts, one over three miles.

Injury kept him off the track for more than a year before he made a smooth winning comeback in the two mile five furlong Boyne Hurdle at Navan last month, impressive­ly striding away in the closing stages. A minor injury setback after that race — ‘just a few nicks’ according to Byrnes — should not diminish his chance here.

Blazing Khal faces some very tough opposition, headed by dual Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter, but looks to possess a bit of the X-factor which makes the brilliant horses stand out from the rest.

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