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McCain planning Kelso run for stable star Peddlers

Donald McCain is leaning towards running his stable star Peddlers Cross in the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on February 17.

Last season's Cheltenham winner remains unbeaten over timber after defeating Starluck and Binocular in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. He was supposed to run in Haydock's Champion Hurdle Trial on January 22 but that meeting was frozen off.

The Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton on February 19 is also a possible but with stable-mate Overturn pencilled in for that, a trip to the Borders track is favourite.

"He galloped this morning, Jason (Maguire) was on Overturn and Adrian (Lane) was on Peddlers and the horse is well, so hopefully we can run him next week somewhere," said McCain.

Knockara Beau booked his place in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham by gamely defying top weight in yesterday's qualifier at Carlisle.

George Charlton's stable star did it the hard way under his welter burden of 11st 12lb in testing conditions.

"He's got his enthusiasm back and the Pertemps at the Festival is the plan now," said the Northumberland trainer.

Alex Ferguson's colours were carried to victory at Ludlow where the George Baker-trained Sinbad The Sailed romped away with the closing maiden hurdle at rewarding odds of 14/1.

Meanwhile, Watamu Bay, as low as 10/1 for the four-mile National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, has been put down after suffering an injury on the gallops.

The Paul Nicholls-trained eight-year-old had won two novice chases this season before finishing sixth in the Welsh National.

Irish Independent