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Feb 20 2017

Last year’s winner of the Totepool National Spirit Hurdle, Lil Rockerfeller, trained by Neil King, will bid to become the first horse since Lough Derg to win the race in consecutive years on Sunday 26 February. Fontwell Park’s feature race is worth £80,000 and is run over a distance of 2m 3f.

Considered a trial for the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, is has been won in the past by horses such as My Way De Solzen and Baracouda.

Owner Andy Smith, of Festival Racing, commented, “We’re delighted to be taking Lil Rockerfeller back to Fontwell Park for the National Spirit Hurdle, with Trevor Whelan taking the ride. The prize money is fantastic and our whole season has been focussed around coming back to Fontwell before going on to the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham”.

“Lil Rockerfeller did a fantastic piece of work on Saturday morning, which Neil was delighted with, so we’re confident he’s over his last run and we go to Fontwell with high hopes”.

“I wasn’t able to make it to Fontwell for last year’s race, but I’m very much looking forward to going down with the rest of the Owners. I have fond memories of the racecourse, having had my first winner there, Pastoral Pride in a Hunter Chase in 1991. I also backed my first ever 100/1 winner there, so it’s definitely been a lucky track for me. Hopefully the run continues on Sunday”.

Other entries for the 2017 Totepool National Spirit Hurdle include Nicky Henderson’s L’Ami Serge, second in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and Different Gravey, who returns to hurdling following a spell Novice Chasing. Dan Skelton’s Shelford was behind Unowhatimeanharry and Lil Rockerfeller in the JLT Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December 2016 whilst last season’s Relkeel Hurdle winner Camping Ground would have his first run for trainer Gary Moore if declared.

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