The National Spirit Hurdle (Sunday 26 February, 3.00) is a Grade-2 Race run over 10 hurdles and 2-miles and 4-furlongs. Run traditionally 2½ weeks before the Cheltenham Festival, it is a supposed trial for the Stayers Hurdle, though only 2006 winner My Way De Solzen has completed the double in the same season.
This year, Lil Rockerfeller bids to follow in the footsteps of Brantbridge Farmer, Comedy Of Errors and Lough Derg in winning back-to-back renewals.
8-runners are et to line-up for the 2017 National Spirit Hurdle.
Was receiving 4lb when beating Lil Rockereller 11-lengths at Cheltenham in January 2016 on heavy ground, but has failed to impress since over hurdles or fences. Would prefer the ground to be softer, but it will be interesting to see whether new trainer Gary Moore has improved him.
Impressive winner of last year’s renewal, and has been placed behind some useful types this year so far. However, this looks a tougher renewal, and he must concede weight to some useful rivals.
Did well in France recently with a couple of victories, but well-behind Lil Rockerfeller at Ascot on his return to England. May not have stayed 3-miles that day and, though of more interest a 2½ miles, he shouldn’t be able to concede weight to the likes of L’Ami Serge on past form.
Adrien Du Pont
Real talking horse who keep getting well-backed, but the form-book yet to suggest he can win this. Likely to do better over fences next season.
Officially the joint-highest rated horse along with Lil Rockerfeller, and gets 8lb from that rival here. Has two ways of running but, if on a going day, he could easily win this.
2½-miles on a flat left-handed track should prove him optimum conditions and, though he officially has 8lb to find with stablemate Different Gravey, I doubt he’s rated 8lb lower than him in the Henderson yard.
Still improving, but lowest-rated of the 8-runners, and hard to see him stepping-up here.
Mixes and hurdles, but a mark of 147 is an accurate assessment of his hurdling ability, and he shouldn’t be good enough.
2017 National Spirit Hurdle Summary
Lil Rockerfeller sets the standard on form and is a model of consistency, whilst Camping Ground could be interesting on his first run for Gary Moore, especially if there’s lots of rain about. However, both may struggle to concede 8lb to the Henderson duo of Different Gravey and L’Ami Serge, with the latter fancied to be ideally suited to this test.
2017 National Spirit Hurdle Tip
L’Ami Serge @ 9/2 (BetVictor, Skybet)