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Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Saturday, 13 March 2010

Solwhit passed fit for Cheltenham Champion Hurdle

Cheltenham Festival
Venue: Prestbury Park Date: 16-19 March
Coverage: Live text commentary and daily reports on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live daily coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (1300-1400) and 5 live (1400-1600) and television coverage on Channel 4 (1230-1615)

Davy Russell on Solwhit
Solwhit is one of the main Irish challengers for the Champion Hurdle

Champion Hurdle contender Solwhit will take his place in Tuesday's feature race at Cheltenham after passing a veterinary examination.

His participation was thrown into some doubt earlier in the week when trainer Charles Byrnes revealed the six-year-old had started coughing.

However, Byrnes is satisfied that his charge is now fit to take his chance.

"I've made a decision and he's travelling over but we will monitor him closely," said Byrnes.

Solwhit sprang to prominence when winning the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting last year, and despite being campaigned solely at the highest level since, his only defeat came in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Among his wins were the Irish Champion Hurdle at Punchestown last month.

Byrnes added: "It was very strange because he didn't go off his food and looked well in himself, it was just that he was coughing.


"There was no virus or anything, none of the other horses have coughed so it really is a bit of a mystery.

"Obviously it is not ideal to have something like this happen so close to the Champion Hurdle but he seems fine now.

"He'll be monitored on the journey there and when he gets there but the intention is to run and as long as he's 100% he will."

Solwhit is now second favourite behind Go Native, while the Nicky Henderson-trained Binocular, who was passed fit for the race on Friday after a muscle problem, is third-favourite.

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see also
Binocular fit for Champion Hurdle
12 Mar 10 |  Horse Racing
Zaynar suffers shock Kelso defeat
18 Feb 10 |  Horse Racing
Binocular lands Champion Hurdle
16 Mar 10 |  Horse Racing
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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