A lot can happen in a month where national hunt racing is concerned, but a victory for Binocular in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle seemed impossible just a few weeks ago,after being ruled out of the championship event with a muscle problem.
Connections decided to let the 6 year old gelding take his chance after " recapturing former jumping fluency" according to the trainer.
Third in the race last year when going off a warm favourite, Binocular made no mistake this time. Always going supremely well, the horse was sent on approaching the last and soon put the result beyond doubt.
Celestial Halo and Zaynar ensured a good gallop in the race, but were left for dead when the winner quickened up in between the last two.
Khyber Kim stayed on well to finish a clear second, but was never going to get in a blow at the easy winner. Favourite Go Native was never seen with a chance and the prospect of pocketing the £1 million bonus was soon a lost cause.
Binocular was returned a generous 9/1 shot, but some lucky Betfair punters were on at 1000 after the horse was announced a non runner.
On today’s performance Binocular is sure to take the world of beating if turning up in 2011 and is currently a 5/1 shot with both Stan James and Betfred.