Brewin’upastorm in good shape for National Spirit challenge

Brewin’upastorm is reported to be in top shape as he sticks to the smaller obstacles for the Loch Lomond Whiskies National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday.

The Olly Murphy-trained eight-year-old made successful return to hurdling with a convincing display at Taunton in January.

Before that his last run over hurdles was at Aintree in April 2019, when he was second in a Grade One contest to Reserve Tank.

He had been chasing exclusively since October that year and even ran in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown in December before connections decided to go back hurdling.

“He’s in good form. Obviously the revert back to hurdles worked well the last day,” said Murphy.

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“The ground will suit and the small field should suit well. He gets 6lb off the majority of the field, so we’re looking forward to running him.”

Cornerstone Lad is another coming back to hurdles after finishing second in both his starts over fences.

Trainer Micky Hammond wants to save the 2019 Fighting Fifth winner for an uninterrupted chasing campaign next term.

“We feel at this stage of the season we’d like a full novice chase season next time around and hopefully without too much Covid-19,” said Hammond.

“He’s in good form at home. It was a choice of the National Spirit or the Morebattle Hurdle (at Kelso on March 6). The ground is beginning to dry.

“He likes a bit of dig in the ground which he’s sure to get on Sunday. We’re looking forward to taking our chance in what looks a very open race.

“He’s generally a good jumper so reverting back to hurdles shouldn’t inconvenience him.”

McFabulous is a major player in the National Spirit
McFabulous is a major player in the National Spirit (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

McFabulous goes for a third Grade Two success of the season after taking the Persian Novices’ Hurdle and the rescheduled Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton.

Paul Nicholls expects McFabulous to be hard to beat.

“This has been the target for McFabulous for a while and the drying ground over the past week is all in his favour,” the Ditcheat handler told Betfair.

“He is a class act, won nicely at Kempton and though two miles and three furlongs is probably the minimum for him round this tight track he is in great shape and will hopefully take all the beating. Then he will bypass Cheltenham and wait for Aintree.”

Dan Skelton’s progressive mare Molly Ollys Wishes, Nicky Henderson’s Call Me Lord and the aofrementioned Reserve Tank from the Colin Tizzard stable make up the field of six.

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