Coeur de Lion seals his place in Cheltenham squad

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February 14

It might not have been the orthodox route to the Cheltenham Festival, but Alan sent Coeur de Lion up to Southwell yesterday to have his prep-race on the fibresand surface and his post-race declaration was “job done”.

Hollie Doyle reported afterwards that Coeur de Lion, cheered on by members of his Barbury Lions syndicate, “hated the kickback”, but that once she pulled him out in order to see some daylight he was fine.

Coeur de Lion has two options at Cheltenham, the Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle and the Coral Cup, and, with the stable having fired in seven winners in the last nine days, Alan is hoping that we remain on a high at Towcester today, where Harefield and new recruit Senior Citizen look to have solid chances.