Binocular’s route to this season’s Cheltenham festival in 2012 is unclear as no plans have been put in place for the seven-year old to make a reappearance as of yet.
The Nicky Henderson-trained runner had to miss last season’s Cheltenham Hurdle through injury, but connections will be hoping they can have their horse ready and in peak condition for the festival in March.
Binocular finished last season’s campaign with a third placed finish in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown behind the excellent Hurricane Fly.
The JP McManus owned horse won the 2010 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in spectacular style, despite an injury earlier in that season, that looked to rule him out of the race. People looking for Cheltenham betting tips should remember this.
JP McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry has confirmed they are waiting on a change in conditions to the ground before they schedule their runner’s seasonal appearance.
“He’s back in work and in good form, but there are no definite plans,” he said. “We’ll see what happens in another week and hopefully we’ll get a bit of rain, then we can start talking about what we’re going to do.”
Binocular started last season in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newbury on November 27, and a similar path may be likely to occur once again. However, Haydock has been used for his first run of the season in previous campaigns. Those looking at the build up to Cheltenham 2012 should remember this.
This season’s Champions Hurdle is likely to feature last year’s winner Hurricane Fly, along with Spirit Son, Zarkander and Peddlers Cross, in what should be a very competitive renewal on the opening day of the four day festival.