One of the last big trails for the World Hurdle, the Cleeve Hurdle will be run at Cheltenham Festival trials day on 24th January.
The race is run over 3 miles and currently has Grade 2 status. Big Bucks and Inglis Drever have doubled up in this race and the World Hurdle at the Festival.
Cleeve Hurdle Stats 2003-2014
6 winning favourites in the last 12 renewals
Winners were rated between 145 and 174
Paul Nicholls and Alan King have both trained 2 winners
No strong age trend
Cleeve Hurdle Winners 2003-2014
Reve De Sivola
Cleeve Hurdle Entries 2015
Monday, January 19, 2015 - Exciting novice Blaklion could step back up to three miles for the £60,000 Grade Two galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (3.35pm, 12 entries) at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day, Saturday, January 24.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained six-year-old was the impressive 11-length winner of the Grade Two Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle when tackling three miles for the first time at Cheltenham during The International on December 13.
He was last seen out when beaten a length and a half into third by Parlour Games in the Grade One Challow Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs at Newbury on December 29.
Blaklion is also entered in the £30,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle (3.00pm, 21 entries) over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham, but would have to shoulder a 7lb penalty in that contest for his Grade Two victory in December on Saturday.
Twiston-Davies said today: "There is a good chance Blaklion will run at the weekend. He is in the Cleeve and the Neptune race at Cheltenham and we have also put him in up at Doncaster.
"He has come out of Newbury fine and is in really good form. He had to make his own running at Newbury and just got outsped at the finish. What we want is an end to end gallop over three miles and hopefully he will be brilliant again.
"I need to go through the entries and speak to the owners before deciding what we do, but we will have a look at the Cleeve."
There 11 other entries for galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle, headed by Beat That (Nicky Henderson) who won two Grade One contests in the spring and made an encouraging return to action at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. The seven-year-old is a 12/1 shot for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival.
Saphir Du Rheu (Paul Nicholls) and Holywell (Jonjo O'Neill) are set to return to hurdles after failing to complete over fences last time out, while Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins could travel Grade One scorers Briar Hill and Zaidpour.
Nicholls said on his website of Saphir De Rheu "I was tempted to keep Saphir Du Rheu over fences, but as the World Hurdle looks so open this year and he is rated 165, Andy Stewart and I thought it might be worth trying him again over hurdles,"As everyone knows, we did the same with Big Buck's a few years ago after his hiccup in the Hennessy Gold Cup and he went on to dominate the staying division for years. We'll see how Saphir Du Rheu gets on in the Cleeve Hurdle before deciding on future plans."
Other notable entries include 2013 victor and Long Walk winner Reve De Sivola (Nick Williams), 2014 second At Fishers Cross (Rebecca Curtis), Cole Harden (Warren Greatrex) and Un Temps Pour Tout (David Pipe).