Swan likes the look of Binocular


Racing:Charlie Swan admits he would love to partner Champion Hurdle favourite Binocular if he were still riding. The Co Tipperary trainer partnered the legendary Istabraq to a hat-trick of Champion Hurdle victories between 1998 and 2000 and was twice leading rider at the Cheltenham Festival.

He was champion Irish jump jockey 10 seasons in a row and though he first took out a training licence in 1998, he did not give up riding until April 2003.

Like Istabraq, Binocular carries the colours of Irish owner J P McManus and Swan, 40, is already comparing the Nicky Henderson-trained gelding to the retired champion following the four-year-old's impressive victory in the Boylesports.com International at Ascot on Saturday.

"Binocular was very good. To be a champion hurdler you have to hurdle really well and that is what he does," said Swan.

"He's very quick, he has the pace and he stays — he has everything.

"He has speed and one of the best things about him is that he jumps like Istabraq — very quick and fast. If they go quick or slow it doesn't matter to him.

"He's definitely going to be the one to beat and I wouldn't mind riding him — he's some horse."

Binocular is as low as 5-4 for the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham thanks to his Ascot success.