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The Liquidator ready for Tolworth Hurdle test

| 10.01.2014

The Liquidator puts his Cheltenham credentials to the test on Saturday in the re-scheduled Tolworth Hurdle at Kempton. Trainer David Pipe has expressed concern that Kempton’s flat track may not suit his six-year-old as well as Sandown, the original venue for the two-mile race.

The Liquidator was last seen romping to an impressive 15-length victory over Sea Lord at Cheltenham in November. This race should help connections to decide whether the horse is aimed at the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or the longer Neptune Novices’ Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson has his usual strong crop of novices and he has decided to run both Josses Hill and Royal Boy in this event. Josses Hill has not been extended to win at Ascot and Newbury whilst Royal Boy runs here in preference to the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle on the same card.

Royal Boy disappointed badly over fences in November and Henderson switched him back over hurdles for a maiden hurdle at Ascot. He comfortably beat his stable companion Big Hands Harry and looks capable of putting up a bold show here.

John Ferguson has several classy recruits from the flat in his yard this year including Group 3 winner Prince Siegfried. He fell at the last when still in contention against the highly-rated Irving last time out and has reportedly schooled well since.

Irish Trainer Willie Mullins runs Upazo, a promising son of Enrique who has won his last two races at Fairyhouse in good style. The form of his victories is difficult to weigh up but he is clearly a dangerous rival for The Liquidator.

Garde Le Victoire suffered his first defeat at the hands of Ballyalton at Cheltenham in December, going down by a quarter of a length in a driving finish. His hurdling has been a bit erratic at times but he certainly has a good engine and should not be underestimated.

Creepy is likely to take up his engagement in the Grade 2 event at Warwick in preference to Kempton, leaving six runners to go to post at 1.35. The race is covered live on Channel 4.

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Harvey Mayson