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    Nemean Lion Set to Tackle Champion Hurdle Challenge
Nemean Lion Set to Tackle Champion Hurdle Challenge
Nemean Lion (centre) by Edward Whitaker

Nemean Lion Set to Tackle Champion Hurdle Challenge

Kerry Lee is ready to take a gamble by entering Nemean Lion in the Unibet Champion Hurdle at the upcoming Cheltenham Festival.


The seven-year-old has enjoyed a successful season thus far, starting in October with a victory in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his debut, winning by a length and a half. Subsequently, he finished fifth in the Greatwood at Cheltenham before an impressive runner-up performance in the Lanzarote, carrying a significant weight increase.

Transitioning to the Grade Two level, the Golden Horn gelding competed in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, a shorter race of a mile and seven furlongs. Despite being the 6-5 favourite, under jockey Richard Patrick, he justified his odds with a length and a half victory over fellow Champion Hurdle contender, Colonel Mustard.

Following this triumph, Nemean Lion's rating climbed from 145 to 151, securing his place in what appears to be a more competitive Champion Hurdle this year.

Lee commented,

"Since Wincanton, Nemean Lion has been in excellent form. He came out of the race in great shape and performed admirably under the conditions. We were thrilled with his performance." 

Regarding the disrupted market news concerning reigning hero Constitution Hill's doubtful participation after a subpar gallop, Lee remained optimistic about Nemean Lion's prospects.

"Our focus is on the Cheltenham Festival and the Champion Hurdle. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Nemean Lion will compete as long as the ground remains good to soft or softer."

Lee acknowledged the unpredictability of horse racing, saying,

"In such an open field, anything can happen. With his current rating of 151, Nemean Lion deserves the opportunity to showcase his abilities."

Expressing gratitude for having a talented horse, Lee concluded,

"We hope for a strong showing from Nemean Lion, but ultimately, our main concern is his well-being. As long as he returns safely, we'll be content."

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