JEDD O’KEEFFE’S Sam Spinner could face up to 18 rivals in the Sun Bet Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next Thursday.
The North Yorkshire challenger is a leading fancy thanks to his victory in Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle last December.
And Harry Fry has issued a bullish update about last year’s beaten favourite Unowhatimeanharry who could only finish third to the subsequently ill-fated Nichols Canyon.
Though no match for Sam Spinner at Ascot, the trainer said: “He is very much on target and it’s all systems go.
“He galloped on Monday and we were very happy with him and Noel Fehily is going to ride him again, which is great. He’s a 10-year-old now, so he’s up against it, but hopefully he’ll run well in what looks an open enough race.”
Unowhatimeanharry’s owner JP McManus is also represented by Alan King’s Yanworth, who reverts to hurdling following a spell over fences.
Donna’s Diamond has been supplemented by Billingham trainer Chris Grant at a cost of £15,000 following his victory in the Grade Two Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock last month under jockey Callum Bewley. In what looks an open renewal, the race also features Jessica Harrington’s Irish Champion Hurdle hero Supasundae. He took the Coral Cup at last year’s Festival.