Solwhit could take on Quevega in the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown

Last Updated: 18/04/13 12:50pm

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Sky Bet

Charles Byrnes is hopeful stable star Solwhit will be ready to line up at the Punchestown Festival next week after returning home from his impressive Aintree triumph "a bit flat".

With Big Buck's sidelined by injury, Solwhit has established himself as the leading staying hurdler in training by winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, before following up in Aintree's Liverpool Hurdle.

The nine-year-old is now set for a tantalising clash with Willie Mullins' mare Quevega in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle.

Quevega has won the Grade One contest for the last three years and last month landed the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham for a remarkably fifth straight year.

Byrnes said: "As long as he is 100 per cent, I am looking forward to taking on Quevega and it looks like it is going to be a really good race. I will leave a definite decision until the weekend because he only ran at Aintree two weeks ago.

"He didn't come out of the race at Aintree as well as he did at Cheltenham, which surprised me. The initial intention was not to run at Aintree and wait for Punchestown but he came out of Cheltenham so well, we decided to go.

"He had such an easy race in Aintree, we thought he would come out of it bubbling but he's a bit flat and we will just wait for him to come alive. I am pretty hopeful that he will be OK by the weekend.

"Although he won easily at Aintree, I don't think it was a better performance than at Cheltenham. The fourth horse at Aintree was only rated 138 and there was nothing like Quevega in the race."

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