Blazing Khal taking familiar comeback route

Charles Byrnes’ Blazing Khal is being aimed at a repeat William Hill Boyne Hurdle triumph as he makes another comeback after injury.

The gelding, now an eight-year-old, has always demonstrated plenty of ability but his career has been paused more than once by recurring issues.

An unbeaten novice hurdler who won two Grade Two Cheltenham contests in 2021, the horse then never fulfilled his potential in that sphere after missing the big spring festivals due to injury.

He was off the track for a total of 428 days as a result, but his comeback was a winning one when he landed the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last February in an impressive three-length success.

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Blazing Khal then headed to the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival where he finished sixth of 11 runners ahead of another enforced lay-off.

However, Byrnes has been bringing his charge back into work since summer last year and, all being well, intends to stage another comeback next month.

Blazing Khal winning the Boyne Hurdle last year
Blazing Khal winning the Boyne Hurdle last year (Brian Lawless/PA)

An entry has been made for the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Festival but Navan would have to go particularly well for that to become an option, although Aintree and the Punchestown Festival are both on the radar for later in the season.

“He’s doing OK, we haven’t had a great run with him but he’s doing well at the moment,” said Byrnes.

“We’re hoping to run him back in the Boyne Hurdle, the race he won last year, that’s the plan at the minute.

“We’ve had him in since July, he’s been stop-start but that’s how it is. We’ve no big expectations this time around; if it happens, it happens.

“He’s got an entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle but he’d have to really show himself off in the Boyne Hurdle to consider going – Aintree and Punchestown would be possibilities but with the way he is, we will take it day by day.

“It’s been different niggles with him but we’re staying positive.”

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