• Ian Ender


Cornerstone Lad has been entered for the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Grade 1 on Saturday November 28th, he is one of 17 entries, in a star studded looking line up.

Cornerstone Lad was able to dictate when he won the race last year, holding off the challenge of Buveur D'Air who finished lame, and who has not been entered for this years renewal. Any doubts as to what Cornerstone Lad achieved that day were put to bed when he probably improved on that effort at Haydock in January when giving weight, and only just being touched off by two quality opponents.

Among his potential opposition this year is last seasons Champion Hurdler, the mare Epatante, she would probably have won that race off levels, but with the 7lb sex allowance, she will always be very difficult to beat.Other dangers include Ballyandy who is remarkably consistent, having beaten Cornerstone Lad at Haydock in January by 3/4 length, when receiving 6lb, and Silver Streak who was third in the Fighting Fifth last season.Also representing the north is the lightly raced seven year old Nicky Richards trained gelding Ribble Valley, who could progress now that he has had a wind operation, but it's Goshen, another of last seasons top novices who could prove more troublesome, he was 10 lengths clear in the Triumph Hurdle when unseating at the last, and has had two runs on the flat recently to bring him to his peak.The best of the Irish entries is Abacadabras who won the Grade 1 Unibet Morgana Hurdle at Punchestown on November 15th for the Gordon Elliott yard.

As the race gets closer, we will keep you up to date with the progress of our stable star.

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