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No early comeback for Make A Stand; December decision likely over injured former Champion Hurdle winner.

MAKE A STAND, brilliant winner of the 1997 Champion Hurdle, is far from certain to return to action this term, after missing all of last season through injury

A decision over his future is set to be made in December.

Make A Stand, owned by Peter Deal and in the care of Martin Pipe, proved an outstanding front-running hurdler during the 1996-97 campaign, progressing through the novice and handicap ranks before trouncing Theatreworld by five lengths in the Champion Hurdle.

But he finished lame on his next start when only third to Bimsey in the Martell Aintree Hurdle at Liverpool.

Pipe said yesterday: "Make A Stand is still turned out to grass and we will make a decision about him round about December time.

"He had a leg injury but he's very well at the moment and he has been going on the horse-walker daily. It's not a career-threatening problem, just one that needs time and that is all you can give horses with leg problems."

The eight-times champion trainer had much more positive news of Cyborgo, the horse at the centre of controversy in last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup when pulled up by Tony McCoy, in doing so carrying out the much-fancied See More Business.

Pipe said: "I'm happy to report Cyborgo is back and very well, bucking and kicking and really enjoying life.

"He did have a nasty injury at Cheltenham, where he hurt his back, and we were very worried at one stage we might lose him-it just shows how right Tony McCoy was to pull him up.

"But Cyborgo is 100 per cent now, the vets are delighted with him. He'll be aimed at the top staying chases. Hopefully, he will be back to his best and the Welsh National is a possibility if he's ready. He hasn't cantered yet, but is ready to."

Deal may still have a Champion Hurdle candidate in Blowing Wind, a most progressive performer last season who hacked up in the Imperial Cup at Sandown before landing a pounds 50,000 bonus by doubling up in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham.

After that success, Blowing Wind went to Ayr, where he battled on well to deny Kerawi victory in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

Pipe said: "What a fantastic season he had last year. We hope to win some decent races with him this year and he will probably stay over hurdles, certainly early on.

"If Peter has to wait for Make A Stand to come back, then maybe it will be Blowing Wind's turn to land the Champion."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Chapman, Matt
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 10, 1998
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Next Article:Curragh man to train at Southwell.

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