Lil Rockerfeller set to revert back to hurdles for National Spirit

Tue 8 Jan 2019

Lil Rockerfeller will bid to win the totepool National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell for a second time.

Having spent the first half of the season novice-chasing, the Neil King-trained eight-year-old is set to revert to hurdles next month to try to capture the Grade Two prize he won in 2016.

After rattling up a hat-trick over fences, the 2017 Stayers’ Hurdle runner-up unseated his rider on his penultimate start at Cheltenham, before beating only one home in a Grade Two event at Ascot last month.

Lil Rockerfeller found only Nichols Canyon too good in the 2017 Stayers' Hurdle at the Festival

King said: “He remains a very smart horse over hurdles and has been in tremendous form from his win at Goodwood on the Flat in the summer to his three wins over fences.

“He has had a little freshen up and will go out hunting next week – then he will come back for the National Spirit at Fontwell, and all being well go for the Stayers’ Hurdle after that.”

Chasing is therefore off the current agenda, and King added: “We had to be realistic – and the races he would have to be competing in over fences, he was not quite up to it.”

Lil Rockerfeller is a best-priced 33-1 with William Hill for the feature race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

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