Although no final decision had yet been made as to which race Jonjo O’Neill’s talented performer Get Me Out Of here would contest at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival that begins on March 15, his participation in any of the races, including the Champion Hurdle, is now in doubt after he underwent a minor wind operation last week, writes Elliot Slater.
Also entered in the Coral Cup and the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, the likelihood of O’Neill’s seven-year-old running is very much in the balance as connections wait to see if the gelding can recover in time to head to the showpiece meeting.
A 66/1 shot to lift the hurdles crown, Get Me Out Of Here ran a superb race at the Cheltenham Festival 12 months ago when failing by only a head to peg back Menorah (now 9/2 second favourite for the Champion Hurdle), in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Punters who were planning to back the horse may now want to look at something different such as the latest Champion Chase betting.
It’s fair to say that since then the son of Accordion has failed to progress as had been hoped, this season failing to reach a place in any of his three outings. The reason, O’Neill believes, is a minor breathing problem, and that is why the decision was taken to have him operated on. If successful, (as has proved the case with so many horses with this minor ailment), the difference can be very significant ad bring about a massive improvement in form.
Seventh in a Listed hurdle at Ascot on his seasonal return, the JP McManus-owned hurdler was expected to run well at Cheltenham in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle but could only finish sixth of the 17 runners behind his old rival Menorah, then disappointed again when only eighth of 15 in the Totesport Trophy at Newbury in mid-February.