Zarkandar still on course

Champion trainer hails organisers

Last Updated: 10/02/12 6:22pm

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Paul Nicholls has confirmed Zarkandar will run in the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Newbury next Friday.

The BHA, sponsors and racecourse moved quickly to rescheduled the fixture after Super Saturday fell to the snow.

Crucially the feature race will retain its original value and writing in his exclusive column at on Friday evening the champion trainer said: "Losing Newbury tomorrow was a big blow - but at least it has been softened by the news that the whole meeting has been transferred to next Friday, live on Channel 4.

"So fair play to all concerned in making this happen. And it is especially pleasing to see that the Betfair Hurdle retains its original prize money of £152,500 and will still be run as Europe's richest handicap hurdle, despite the race being run on a Friday.

"Last year it was run for a fraction of that, with the winner only getting just over £34,000.

"As long as they are all fit and well, then all the horses I was going to run at Newbury tomorrow will turn out next Friday - and that includes Zarkandar.

"I would not be overly-concerned if a lot of my horses had to go straight to Cheltenham - I can get them fresh, fit and well at home - but it is a different story for horses that haven't yet run this season. So Zarkandar will run."

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