8/1 Fakir D’Oudairies faces late Cheltenham call

Updated: 02/12/2022

Trainer Joseph O’Brien has confirmed a final decision on which race Fakir D’Oudairies (8/1 to win Triumph Hurdle) runs in at next month’s Cheltenham Festival will be made at the “last minute”.

The four-year-old followed up his successful Irish debut in Cork in early January by comprehensively beating his rivals in the Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham later in the month.

That performance at Prestbury Park helped establish Fakir D’Oudairies as one of the leading contenders for the Triumph Hurdle itself, but there are no guarantees he will be entered into race.

O’Brien also houses another of the Triumph Hurdle favourites in Sir Erec (11/8 to win Triumph Hurdle), with both horses owned by JP McManus, who appears keen to avoid running the duo directly against each other.

Given that Sir Erec doesn’t hold any entries in the novice races at Cheltenham, it seems likely Fakir D’Oudairies will be steered in another direction, with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle looking a distinct possibility (Fakir D’Oudairies 9/2 to win Supreme Novices’ Hurdle).

O’Brien says a final decision will not be made until much nearer the time.

Speaking at a Cheltenham Festival press event at Punchestown, O’Brien said: “He (Fakir D’Oudairies) has entries in some of the novice races and the decision will be made at the last minute, I would say. JP and Frank (Berry, racing manager to McManus) will make the decision, ultimately.

“He looked very good in Cheltenham the last day and I think he has a big chance wherever he’s going to go. I suppose it would make sense to split them up and Sir Erec doesn’t have entries in the novice races, whereas Fakir does.”

Odds subject to change.

This post first appeared here

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