Cadzand is the new favourite for Sunday’s Betfair Hurdle after 28 runners stood their ground for the rearranged contest.
With Harry Fry choosing not to run Metier, Dan Skelton’s Cadzand is now the 9-2 market leader with the sponsors.
He is owned by Chelsea Thoroughbreds and Mark Speelman, who runs the National Hunt side of the operation, is hopeful of a bold show from the Kempton winner.
“It’s a great effort by everyone to get the race rearranged, especially with the same prize money – it makes a big difference,” he said.
“You couldn’t say the race has cut-up, but it is obviously quite nice not to have Harry Fry’s horse in there and it’s very exciting.
“Novices do have a good record in the race, but Metier would have had to give us plenty of weight had he run. My Tent Or Yours carried something similar, but it does take a big performance.
“He travelled like a nice horse last time at Kempton and the form has worked out since with the second (Christopher Wood) winning the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh.
“He’s really a chaser in the making, but at the moment he’s not doing anything wrong over hurdles, so we see no reason not to take this step off his current rating.
“It’s very exciting – we don’t have many National Hunt horses, so fingers crossed he can fly the flag on Sunday. We hope we can create some interest off the back of it as lots of people are excited. If he were to win, there might be a couple more, you never know.
“Nothing is confirmed at the moment regarding jockeys.”
Nicky Henderson’s Buzz heads the weights with Soaring Glory, Milkwood and Shakem Up’Arry among the others.
As expected, Champ has been entered in the two-mile Betfair Cheltenham Free Bet Pot Builder Game Spirit Chase by Nicky Henderson.
He could face Greaneteen and Sceau Royal in the Grade Two.
In the Betfair Denman Chase, dual King George winner Clan Des Obeaux is one of 10 possibles, along with last year’s Gold Cup third Lostintranslation.
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