Elgin will be attempting to maintain his superb form this season by defying top-weight in the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at Ascot today.
The five year old has made huge progress already this season; he won over the course and distance early in November before going on to win the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham two weeks later.
Because of these results, Alan King’s horse has gone up 11lb in the ratings and he is at the head of the handicap for this weekend’s important contest.
Dan Downie, the racing manager for owners Elite Racing, said, “The plan is to run. He’s in good form. He’s come out of his last race well and we’re happy with him.”
Last year Fergall and Chesterfield were third and eighth in the race and trainer Seamus Mullins has said that the duo are on target to return to Berkshire.
The Salisbury handler said, “Both are likely to run and we’re going to claim off both of them. Chesterfield is doing everything right at home. Obviously the handicapper has had his say, but I would hope he’d run a big race. We try to set Fergall up for this race every year if we can.”
Hunters Call is also expected to have his first start for Olly Murphy since leaving John Neilan’s stable in County Galway. The Stratford handler told his website, “Hunters Call, all being well will run in the old Ladbroke Hurdle on Saturday at Ascot. Yes, it’s an awfully competitive handicap, but his home work has been good and I’m hopeful more than confident he will run well. He will have a nice weight and it looks like he will get in towards the bottom end of the handicap.”