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Horse Racing - Racing: Redemption on the cards for Winged Leader

Winged Leader will bid for redemption from his Cheltenham Festival heartbreak in next month’s Foxhunters' Chase at Aintree.

The eight-year-old has developed into one of the leading point-to-pointers in Ireland and rattled off a five-timer between April 2021 and February, culminating when beating Billaway comprehensively at Thurles in late January.

Winged Leader looked like he had the measure of that rival when well-clear in the St James's Place Hunters' Chase Challenge cup at the Festival on Friday, but he was reeled in by Billaway in the last strides for an agonising defeat.

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However, he could bid for compensation in the Aintree equivalent in April after he was entered for the race by trainer David Christie, where he could face the likes of the David Maxwell-owned pair Bob And Co and Cat Tiger, last year's shock winner Cousin Pascal and the 2021 Cheltenham Festival winner Porlock Bay.

Christie hoping for response

Christie said: "There's only a few weeks between Cheltenham and Aintree and that's a worry. You like to give horses at least one easy week after a tough race, just to see if anything shows up and to make sure they are okay, so that leaves things pretty tight."

He added: "On the plus side, he actually had an easier race than Billaway and I'd be hoping he can recover in time for the Foxhunters' at Aintree. The other thing you'd be hoping is that he can confirm his superiority over the British horses. If he does that, he'd have to have a big chance."

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