Solwhit set to return next season

Trainer’s focus now on Trifolium in the Arkle

Charles Byrnes has ruled out any return to action this season by the World Hurdle hero Solwhit and will instead wait until next year to bring his star performer back.

A fetlock injury ruled Solwhit out of a run at Christmas and it failed to right itself in time to allow Cheltenham festival preparation.

Now Byrnes has ruled out both Aintree and Punchestown too.

“He’s fine, but I’d say we have no plans really to run again this season.


“We’ll save him for next year,” said the Co Limerick trainer yesterday.

“We could bring him back later for Punchestown, but I wouldn’t see much point in that. We’ll try him again next year and have another full season with him,” he added.

Solwhit memorably returned from a lengthy spell on the injury sidelines last term to land the World Hurdle at Cheltenham, after which he also won in Liverpool.

Byrnes’s Cheltenham focus is now on Trifolium who is a leading player in the Arkle after his maiden Grade 1 success at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The Gigginstown Stud owned horse is a general 8-1 shot for the Arkle at Cheltenham, with the Willie Mullins trained Champagne Fever topping ante-post betting lists on 4-1.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column