King and Nicholls make early moves for Fontwell’s National Spirit Hurdle

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A STRONG field is already taking shape for Fontwell Park’s first big race of the year.

Trainer Alan King has indicated his Ascot winner of last Saturday, Smad Place, is a possible runner in the National Spirit Hurdle, the feature race at Fontwell’s All About The Horse race day on Sunday, February 26.

King won the race with Trenchant in 2010 and My Way de Solzen in 2006.

King said: “He is a gorgeous horse and he will make a lovely novice chaser next season.

“I might be mad but I put him in the World Hurdle the other day.

“The trip would not be a problem but Big Buck’s just might.

“We will probably make a decision after he has run in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.”

Meanwhile champion trainer Paul Nicholls also confirmed that last year’s winner Celestial Halo, owned by Andy Stewart, is almost certain to return to retain the crown won last year.

Celestial Halo won the Champion Hurdle trial at Haydock on Saturday, taking his winnings over hurdles to just under £500,000.

Lough Derg, the winner in 2008 and 2009, is going to parade on the day.

All About The Horse race day will give race-goers to find out all about the life of the creatures who make the sport what it is. Ticket details on 01243 543335.