He's back: Cheltenham nightmare horse Edwulf to return at Leopardstown

Christmas presents don't come much better for racing fans than the prospect of Sizing John locking horns with Yorkhill in the race formerly known as the Lexus later this month.

 

But if Edwulf were to return from a near-death experience at Cheltenham seven months ago to land the Leopardstown Christmas Chase it would surely provide Joseph O'Brien with the greatest festive cheer of all.

Having appeared to go wrong on the run-in when running a fine race in the National Hunt Novices' Chase at the festival in March, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old was saved by vets on course and now looks set to make his first start since the incident in the Grade 1 feature on December 28.

A delighted O'Brien said: "It's great to have him back. He's in good form and he's had a few nice pieces of work, showing no ill effects of what happened to him at Cheltenham.

"Everything has gone well so far and we're looking forward to seeing him on the track again."

Still on course being treated almost an hour and a half after the Cheltenham four-miler had started, Edwulf was taken away by horse ambulance for further treatment after racing, with O'Brien revealing the work of those on track proved crucial to the Kayf Tara gelding's future.

"I don't know the technical term for what happened but I just hope it never happens again!" said O'Brien. "He basically ran out of oxygen."

He continued: "It was touch and go at a point but the vets and everyone on course were so good. Nobody panicked and they knew exactly what to do, and even though he was down for quite a while they were always hoping that he would be able to come back from this.

"We'll get him started off before making any major plans with him and take it from there after Christmas."

First published by The Racing Post on 20th December: https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/edwulf-to-return-from-cheltenham-nightmare-in-leopardstown-grade-1/312932