King ready to unleash Karabak

Karabak on his way to Relkeel Hurdle glory
Karabak on his way to Relkeel Hurdle glory
Minellatillmorning won the Happy Birthday Sarah Cotty Handicap Hurdle. Picture: Fontwell Park

Balding celebrates Glory at Fontwell

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KARABAK is set to defend Alan King’s National Spirit Hurdle crown on Sunday.

The 161-rated hurdler is among a stellar 14-horse entry for the Grade 2 contest – Fontwell’s richest race of the season.

And yesterday, King, who triumphed with Trenchant 12 months ago, confirmed the son of Kahyasi is ready to run.

The Wiltshire handler explained Karabak will swerve a showdown with Big Buck’s and Grand Crus in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Instead, he will look to defy top weight in the National Spirit Hurdle before heading to Aintree or Punchestown in April.

Reigning champion Trenchant is also among the entries for Sunday’s race – due off at 3.45pm – while 162-rated Celestial Halo tops the bill for Paul Nicholls.

Sentry Duty and Black Jack Blues are also eye-catching entries, with Fontwell favourite Lough Derg once again expected to bid for his third success in the race.

Entries: Karabak, Trenchant, Celestial Halo, Sentry Duty, Afsoun, Benfleet Boy, Black Jack Blues, Lough Derg, Not Til Monday, Quartz De Thaix, Sarando, Tarkari, Warne’s Way, Architrave.