Aintree Hurdle plan for Ch'tibello
Ch'tibello is being lined up to feature in the Aintree Hurdle on Thursday on the back of his success in the County Hurdle
The eight-year-old secured a first win in just under two-and-a-half years in the competitive handicap at Cheltenham on March 15, but has since been put up by 10lb by the handicapper to end any hopes of a Galway Hurdle title.
Instead, trainer Dan Skelton is poised to opt for an outing on Merseyside this coming week as Part-owner Ian Marmion said: "The plan is to have a look at the Grade One at Aintree.
"I don't know about Ayr (Scottish Champion Hurdle). The handicapper put him up 10lb and I would think it's very hard to win a competitive handicap like that off 156 so as far as I'm concerned we're going to Aintree.
"The ground is unlikely to be any slower at Ayr than Aintree. We thought straight after the County that we might go to Ballybrit and have a go at the Galway Hurdle with an extra five, six maybe seven pounds.
"Myself and the other owners are from Galway but we're not going to try and win that off 156 - but if he never wins another race I don't care!
"I think excitement got the better of Dan after the race. I saw him the other day and told him I'd never heard Barney Curley say one had been a 15-month plan and he had 10lb in hand!
"Actually I think what he meant was the horse had once been rated 10lb higher at his best but he'd had his heart broken by The New One at Haydock. He didn't have 10lb in hand and it wasn't a 15 month plan. He was well beaten in last year's Champion Hurdle and he looked a beaten horse in the paddock that day.
"After the County he knew he'd won, he had a spring back in his step prancing around and barely blew."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.