Webber hoping Gwafa can recapture form at Festival

Gwafa with Mollington trainer Paul Webber at his Cropredy Lawn yard
Gwafa with Mollington trainer Paul Webber at his Cropredy Lawn yard

Mollington trainer Paul Webber will be hoping Gwafa can recapture his form at next week’s Cheltenham Festival.

The seven-year-old holds an entry in the Grade 3 Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle on the final day of the Festival.

He’s a tough horse, he hasn’t got a lot of mileage on the clock so he could run in both races if conditions were right

Mollington trainer Paul Webber

But he could run in the Grade 3 Matchbook Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle at Sandown this weekend before heading to Prestbury Park – if the ground is right.

Gwafa had been off since 2016 – the same year he was an impressive winner of the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Haydock – but has had a couple of runs this year.

Webber went close to completing the double in 1997 when Carlito Brigante won the Imperial Cup at Sandown only to be pipped by Nicky Henderson’s Barna Boy in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham a few days later.

The Cropredy Lawn handler said: “He’s a tough horse, he hasn’t got a lot of mileage on the clock so he could run in both races if conditions were right. But it may not be dry enough at Sandown to suit him, if so we’ll sit tight and wait for the County Hurdle.

“The intention is still to go to Cheltenham no matter, I’m sure it would be the right race for him, off a good mark.

“He went to Kempton last week for a racecourse gallop and he worked very nicely. Richie McLernon rode him there and said he was the best he’d ever felt for him.”