Relkeel Hurdle option open to Bob Olinger

Bob Olinger could be seen at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, with the Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle one of two possible festive options for the dual-Festival hero.

Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old includes Prestbury Park victories in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and Turners Novices’ Chase among his eight career triumphs but endured a winless campaign when switched back to hurdles last term.

However, to the delight of his handler, he rediscovered his best form on last month’s seasonal reappearance, travelling with his usual zest in the hands of regular pilot Rachael Blackmore before picking up well to see off the match-fit Zanahiyr at Navan.

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Bob Olinger now has the option of dropping back to two miles for the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown during the Dublin track’s Christmas Festival, but is also poised to receive an entry for a New Year’s raiding mission, with Cheltenham’s Group Two contest currently at the forefront of De Bromhead’s mind.

“He’s in good form and we’ve been very happy since, it was brilliant to get him back,” said De Bromhead.

“We’re aiming towards Christmas time and he’s in at Leopardstown over two miles, but he will also have an entry in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

“I would be happy (dropping back to two miles), he has a lot of pace, loads of pace, he’s never lacked in that.

“I’m not saying we will, they are our options and I’m probably leaning towards the race at Cheltenham, but we will see how it all pans out.”

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