sport

Eckhart camp eye Coral Cup

Connections of Meister Eckhart rate his chances as "60-40" in favour of again running in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Alan King-trained eight-year-old ran a blinder in the big handicap last March when beaten only by stablemate Medinas.

He was tried over fences earlier this season but nearly fell at the second-last at Wincanton and was pulled up.

It was decided to keep his novice status for another season due to trainer Alan King's quiet spell, but he reappeared in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday, finishing second in the Grade Two for a second successive year.

"He's likely to go to Cheltenham but we haven't decided whether it's for the Coral Cup or World Hurdle," said Stephen Price, of owners Atlantic Equine.

"I don't think we'll make a decision until the weights are out. That was a silly race on Sunday from a handicapping point of view. The winner (Kayf Moss) was rated 20lb lower than us so surely we can't go up.

"What we do know is that he's a serious horse with a big engine who operates well at Cheltenham.

"I'd say it's 60-40 he'll go for the Coral Cup because horses with high weights tend to run well in that race.

"He had a bad landing at Wincanton, which set him back, but then he didn't run because Alan effectively shut down for a while.

"Last year he ran at Fontwell, Cheltenham and Aintree but was over the top by Aintree so we may give that a miss this year and look at a race in France."