Duel At Dawn is likely to bypass Festival

Edgcote trainer Alex Hales
Edgcote trainer Alex Hales
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Edgcote trainer Alex Hales says Duel At Dawn is likely to bypass this month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Duel At Dawn holds an entry in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle but while his participation has yet to be ruled out, the Trafford Bridge handler is likely to adopt a more cautious stance with the seven-year-old.

The horse is a big raw baby who is going to come into his own as a chaser next season

Edgcote trainer Alex Hales

After turning over a 1/16 favourite in a two horse race at Doncaster in December, Duel At Dawn belied odds of 50/1 when finishing third at Town Moor in the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle.

Hales said: “We’re not going to win the Albert Bartlett and while we have kept Duel At Dawn in the race at this stage I would like to go to Hereford or Market Rasen a day later. There is also the possibility he might run in an Aintree handicap in April.

“The horse is a big raw baby who is going to come into his own as a chaser next season. I always remember what Nicky Henderson said about horses like this and not going for the Festival.”

Hales sent out a winner on the all-weather on Friday when Dandilion won at Wolverhampton.

The-four-year-old won the Betway Handicap in the hands of Callum Shepherd.