sport

African Gold back over hurdles

African Gold, one of the brightest novice chasing prospects at the start of the season, will switch back to hurdles after falling on Tuesday.

The five-year-old won four times in succession as a novice over hurdles last season before finding only At Fishers Cross too strong in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge disappointed when finishing a well beaten fourth on his chasing debut at Cheltenham last month and was long odds-on to get his season back on track at Uttoxeter.

The youngster looked likely to prevail until a bad mistake three fences from home sent him crashing out of the race and owner Dai Walters, who snapped him up prior to the start of the new season, feels it sensible to go back over the smaller obstacles.

Walters said: "He seems all right this morning, but obviously the vet will be in later to check him out fully.

"We don't want to make too many plans until he's given a clean bill of health, but provided he's all right I think we'll go back over hurdles with him.

"He's still a young horse and maybe we should have given him a couple of easier races over fences first. We were quite ambitious sending him to Cheltenham first time.

"These things happen, we'll move on and he'll go back over hurdles now."