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Cheltenham specialist Fair Along being aimed at 2013 Pertemps Hurdle Final

Jon Wilde in Thur. 16th March 18 Dec 2012
Fair Along (centre, white cap) on the way to finishing third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Four-time Cheltenham winner Fair Along is being lined up for another crack at the National Hunt Festival in the Pertemps Hurdle Final next March.

The three-mile handicap, which is run on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival, is the target for the 10-year-old who bounced back to form with a surprise victory at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting.

Fair Along is a winner over the course and distance of the Pertemps Final, when he beat subsequent Grand National hero Don’t Push It in December 2008, and has three other Cheltenham triumphs to his credit.

But he has yet to score at the Cheltenham Festival in seven attempts, finishing second in the 2006 Triumph Hurdle and 2007 Arkle Challenge Trophy, third to Master Minded in the 2008 Queen Mother Champion Chase and fourth in the 2011 Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase.

Trainer Philip Hobbs said: “He's an amazing horse. You wouldn't have thought when we bought him as a three-year-old that he would be here seven years later.

“Every time we talk about retirement he goes and runs well. I suppose the Pertemps Final might be something for him.”

The Pertemps Final could be slightly easier to win in 2013 as some of the horses that normally would have run may instead be diverted to the World Hurdle in the unfortunate injury absence of four-time winner Big Buck’s.

One to whom that could apply is the unexposed David Pipe-trained Goulanes, who scored narrowly from Cross Kennon at the Cheltenham Open meeting in November.


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Cheltenham specialist Fair Along being aimed at 2013 Pertemps Hurdle Final

Four-time Cheltenham winner Fair Along is being lined up for another crack at the National Hunt Festival in the Pertemps Hurdle Final next March.

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