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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

O'Brien 'confident' Triumph Hurdle favourite will recover in time for Cheltenham

The trainer revealed today that Sir Erec has suffered a stone bruise.

SIR EREC, THE favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle, has suffered a stone bruise but trainer Joseph O’Brien is confident he will be fit to run at Cheltenham.

Mark Walsh on Sir Erec wins the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle Mark Walsh on board Sir Erec after a victory at the Dublin Racing Festival in February. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The JP McManus-owned four-year-old has been as short as evens in the betting for the contest on 15 March and is considered by many to be the banker of the festival.

Speaking today, O’Brien said: “Sir Erec has picked up a stone bruise but otherwise he’s in very good shape and as the race is eight days away he should be fine to run.

“We’re confident there will be more than enough time for him to fully recover and get to the race in top form.”

SirErec Source: Twitter - @JosephOBrien2

Despite the reassurances, bookmakers responded by easing Sir Erec out to 6-5 for the Triumph in which stablemate Fakir D’Oudairies, prominent in the betting for Tuesday’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, was cut into a general 7-2 (from 5s).

Sir Erec is two from two over hurdles after impressing on the Flat last season when finishing third behind Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot in October.

He won a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting and went on the land the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle by six lengths at the Dublin Racing Festival at the same track last month.

- Brian Fleming

Andy Dunne joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey to discuss Joe Schmidt’s undroppables and how France might attack Ireland’s predictability in The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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