Metier to skip rescheduled Betfair Hurdle and got straight to the Supreme
- Harry Fry has told the Racing Post that Metier will not run in the Betfair Hurdle
- Fry's Tolworth Hurdle winner was due to run in this Betfair Hurdle on Saturday
- The meeting has been pushed back to next Sunday after frozen ground scuppered tomorrow's card
- Metier will head straight for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Metier winning the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January. (Getty)
What should have been a wonderful afternoon of racing at Newbury is no more, after frozen ground saw Betfair Hurdle day canceled.
Newbury has managed to secure a slot next Sunday, February 21st. Nicky Henderson has already expressed his gratitude to Newbury, as he tries to get a run into both Champ and Altior before the Chelteham Festival.
One who won't be making the trip to Newbury next Sunday is Metier. Harry Fry's Tolworth Hurdle winner was due to carry 11-9 into the Betfair Hurdle tomorrow. However, Fry thinks the 22-day turn around between the rescheduled race and the Cheltenham Festival is a little on the sharp side.
"The Supreme Novices' Hurdle is very much our number one target." Fry told the Racing Post.
"While we were happy to have a go at the Betfair en route, next weekend is only just over three weeks before the Festival."
"It's not like he was going to the Betfair rated 139 - he's rated 149 and already a Grade One winner."
"We think he's got a very good chance in the Supreme, so that's where our focus is."
"Newbury and the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) and everyone involved deserve a lot of credit for rescheduling the whole fixture, but sadly it doesn't fit in with our plan for Metier - it wasn't to be."
Metier is currently the UK's leading candidate for the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival. Fry's charge currently sits second in the betting, with Appreciate It sitting atop Betfair's betting on a price of 6/4.
Dan Skelton's Cadzand was also due to run in the Betfair Hurdle, and actually headed Metier in the betting prior to Newbury's abandonment. He too holds a Supreme Novices' Hurdle entry, as did Soaring Glory, For Pleasure and Shakem Uparry, so there's a chance they could all skip Newbury in favour of Cheltenham.