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Oiseau de Nuit: Heads for the Grand Annual again

Oiseau de Nuit: Heads for the Grand Annual again

Oiseau de Nuit: Heads for the Grand Annual again

Terry Warner believes he could have his strongest ever team at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

Warner has seen his yellow and black colours carried to victory there by such stars as Rooster Booster in the 2003 Champion Hurdle and Detroit City in the 2006 Triumph.

Oiseau de Nuit, winner of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase 12 months ago, is set to lead his hopefuls as Colin Tizzard's charge bids for a repeat victory.

Grand Vision, also trained by Tizzard and rated by Warner as his best chance, holds entries in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

"It could be the best ever year there for me on paper," said Warner.

"Grand Vision is in two races and he'll probably be kept in both for now.

"I was impressed by the way he won at Haydock. I saw him win on TV while I was away on holiday and I thought he'd be my best chance of winning at Cheltenham this year, but he's got to get in the Pertemps. He's got 10st 5lb and he might just creep in.

"Oiseau de Nuit goes for the race he won last year."

Warner's two other Festival hopes, Featherbed Lane and Big Easy, are with Philip Hobbs.

"Featherbed Lane will be left in both races he's entered in," he went on.

"He'll be left in the World Hurdle in case something goes wrong with Big Buck's and he's in the Coral Cup. He'll definitely run in one of them.

"We think he's bred for three miles. He's a full-brother to Master Of The Hall, who gets three miles, and he's bred to be a chaser. He'll go chasing next year.

"When he got beat over three miles at Haydock, I think it was the ground that beat him."

Big Easy is in the Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle, but is unlikely to get in either race despite looking very much on the upgrade when winning his last two starts.

Warner said: "Big Easy won nicely again the other day. He's improving but he won't get in at Cheltenham, Philip tells me. We've got him entered there in a couple of races.

"There are thousands of entries so until the next declaration stage, it's hard to know what will get in where."

Sunday Indo Living