Willie Mullins has revealed Appreciate It will remain over hurdles this season after a planned novice chasing campaign was shelved due to a minor setback.
The seven-year-old won each of his four starts over the smaller obstacles last season, rounding off his campaign with a stunning 24-length success in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Appreciate It was due to pursue a career over the larger obstacles this term and was at the head of ante-post lists for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March.
But having failed to get him to the track so far this season, Mullins confirmed his charge will now stick to hurdling for the time being.
“Appreciate It will be out of training for a couple of weeks and because it would mean a late start to his chasing career in terms of this season, we’ve decided on a hurdling campaign when he is ready to return,” the champion trainer told www.sportinglife.com.
Paddy Power reacted to the news by slashing Appreciate It’s odds for the Champion Hurdle to 6/1, making him their second-favourite behind defending champion Honeysuckle, who is the 4/5 market leader.