Racing UK

Andy Stewart sets sights on Stayers’ date with Old Guard

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Old Guard (red cap)

Old Guard is likely to take his chance in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Part-owner Andy Stewart knows the size of the task he faces in taking on Unowhatimeanharry but thinks he is better off in graded company than running in the Coral Cup with plenty of weight.

Old Guard was beaten over 18 lengths by Harry Fry's star in the Cleeve Hurdle, but Stewart feels he is coming back to his best form.

Stewart won the Stayers' Hurdle four times with Big Buck's and has been placed in the race with Celestial Halo (2013) and Saphir Du Rheu (2015).

"I haven't checked the statistics, but it's very rare for a horse with his rating to win the Coral Cup," said Stewart.

"So, we'll probably run him in the Stayers' Hurdle and I'll have another go at the race.

"We know he can't really beat Unowhatimeanharry, but Old Guard has improved massively for that run.

"Everybody laughed at me the year Celestial Halo stepped in for Big Buck's and I said he'd win it - coming to the last it looked like he would, but Solwhit just stayed on better.

"We'll let him take his chance and he might just surprise a few."

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