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Horse Racing

Gavin Cromwell could send Jeremys Flame straight to Cheltenham while Darver Star set for Naas

GAVIN Cromwell is tempted keep classy mare Jeremys Flame fresh for the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old was a clear second behind Fiddlerontheroof in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

Jeremys Flame (right) was second in the Tolworth Hurdle on Saturday

She had previously split a couple of highly-regarded mares at Newbury, with the third Silver Forever providing that contest with a big form boost on the same card at the weekend.

Jeremys Flame was cut into 12-1 from 25-1 for the Mares’ Novice Hurdle with Betway following her runner-up effort.

And Cromwell, who saddled the late Espoir D’Allen to win the Champion Hurdle last season, is weighing up his options.

He told Sun Racing: “She’s in good shape, she came out of the Tolworth well.

“We were delighted with her run, she has improved all year and it looked a good race beforehand. I’m sure it’ll prove good form.

“I’m not sure if she will run again before the Mares’ Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham.

“There is a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse at the end of the month which we could go to, but there are no plans set in stone and we will take our time.”

Cromwell’s other top novice hurdler, Darver Star, will likely head to Naas for the Grade 3 Limestone Lad Hurdle on 26 January.

He was beaten just over two lengths into third behind Envoi Allen and Abacadabras in the Royal Bond on his latest outing, and his trainer reckons he has more to offer.

Cromwell said: “We may run him in the Limestone Lad Hurdle in Naas towards the end of the month.

“He won those four races in a row and then ran really well to finish third in the Royal Bond.

“That was obviously a strong race, the first two Envoi Allen and Abacadbras look very good.

“He is in good form at the moment and hopefully he will prove to be a nice horse for us going forwards.”

Cromwell added that both of his Lanzarote Hurdle entries, Alfa Mix and Ilikedwayurthinkin, were unlikely to be declared for Kempton’s big handicap.