Cheltenham Festival news: Blazing Khal get green light for Stayers' Hurdle

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The seven-year-old won back-to-back Grade Two novice prizes at Prestbury Park in the autumn of 2021, but missed the rest of the season through injury and did not ultimately not return for 14 months. An impressive comeback in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan in mid-February catapulted Blazing Khal to the head of the Stayers' Hurdle market, but Byrnes later revealed his stable star had returned with a "a few bits of nicks" that required treatment. However, while his preparation has clearly not been ideal, Byrnes confirmed Blazing Khal will take his chance in a race the County Limerick handler won with Solwhit 10 years ago. He said on Friday: "He worked at the Curragh earlier this week. We decided against taking him back there today as we felt it would be counter-productive. "But I had a chat with the owner this morning and we decided we're going to run him." Blazing Khal is set to lead a small but select team of five Festival runners for Byrnes along with Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle contender Byker, Coral Cup hopeful Run For Oscar, Pertemps Final favourite Shoot First and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle runner Grozni. "I'm bringing five and it looks a nice team," the trainer added. "The preparation for all the rest of them has gone very well. "Soft ground would inconvenience Run For Oscar more so than any of them, I would say, but I'd say it won't be too bad."

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