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Goshen out to retain Kingwell crown

Goshen is again the star attraction as he bids for back-to-back victories in the Wincanton Matchbook Betting Exchange Kingwell Hurdle.

It is almost two years since Gary Moore’s stable star suffered a heartbreaking final-flight exit with the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham at his mercy.

There have been a few bumps in the road during the intervening period, but when Goshen is good he is very good – as he proved when landing this Grade Two prize by 22 lengths last season.

The six-year-old opened his account for the current campaign with a similarly dominant front-running display in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown a fortnight ago and will be a warm order to give weight and a beating to his three rivals on Saturday.

Moore said: “Goshen has worked well. All is good with him and he goes to Wincanton, God willing.

“Some of the horses in the yard are not right and some of them are. We are running the ones that are and not running the ones that are not.”

The biggest threat to Goshen appears to be the David Pipe-trained Adagio.

Adagio in action at Chepstow
Adagio in action at Chepstow (David Davies/PA)

A Grade One winner in last season’s Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, the French recruit went on to fill the runner-up spot in both the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and at Aintree – and was again second best on his reappearance in Cheltenham’s Greatwood Hurdle in November.

Pipe said: “Adagio pulled a muscle, but he is back on form now and Tom (Scudamore) schooled him last week. This is a stepping stone towards the Champion Hurdle and he will improve for it.

“It is the first time he has raced right-handed for us, but he won his claimer in France going right-handed and I don’t think he will have any problems with it.

Faivoir in action at Newbury
Faivoir in action at Newbury (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He ran very well in the Greatwood as it came off a rushed preparation, as he had to have a wind op.

“He needs to step up from that for a Champion Hurdle. However, he seems in a good place.”

Dan Skelton and Bridget Andrews team up with Faivoir, who reverts to the smaller obstacles following successive runner-up finishes over fences.

Llandinabo Lad, an outsider from the Tom Symonds yard, completes the field.

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