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    Iberico Lord, Trained by Henderson, Added to Champion Hurdle Lineup
Iberico Lord, Trained by Henderson, Added to Champion Hurdle Lineup
Iberico Lord (centre) by Edward Whitaker

Iberico Lord, Trained by Henderson, Added to Champion Hurdle Lineup

Nicky Henderson faces the Unibet Champion Hurdle with a reshuffled deck following the withdrawal of Constitution Hill due to a respiratory infection.

The trainer, in a strategic move, has opted to supplement Iberico Lord for the prestigious Cheltenham Festival event, doubling his chances at glory.

Iberico Lord, a six-year-old victor of both the Greatwood and Betfair Hurdles, was initially aimed at the County Hurdle. However, with Constitution Hill out of the picture and potential testing ground conditions on the horizon, the decision was made to switch him to the main event on the opening day.

Owner JP McManus has forked out the £18,000 supplementary fee to secure Iberico Lord's spot in the Champion Hurdle lineup, where he will join stablemate Luccia, the reigning champion of Ascot's Betfair Exchange Trophy.

In a statement released by Henderson, he expressed confidence in Iberico Lord's abilities, highlighting the young hurdler's progression and affinity for soft ground. With the unexpected turn of events due to Constitution Hill's absence, Henderson is optimistic about Iberico Lord's prospects alongside Luccia.

With Constitution Hill sidelined, all eyes are on last year's runner-up State Man, trained by Willie Mullins, who is the frontrunner with three Grade One victories this season. Mullins has also retained the highly fancied Lossiemouth for the Mares' Hurdle, while Zarak The Brave and Echoes In Rain remain potential contenders.

Gordon Elliott has redirected Irish Point from the Stayers' Hurdle, adding depth to his lineup alongside Pied Piper, a recent acquisition for €570,000. Notable mentions in the field include Hughie Morrison's veteran Not So Sleepy, the top British hopeful, along with Nemean Lion (Kerry Lee), Love Envoi (Harry Fry), and Colonel Mustard (Lorna Fowler), completing the roster of 12 contenders vying for glory at Cheltenham.

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