Darlan - Taunton 09.01.2012

Darlan will be ridden by Tony McCoy in Tuesday's Supreme Novices' Hurdle

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McManus keen on Darlan in Supreme Novices'

LEADING jumps owner JP McManus is optimistic Darlan can get him off to a winning start at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival by landing the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Trained by Nicky Henderson, Darlan was going well in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month before falling, but McManus hopes he can bounce back.

The owner, who will also be represented by Colour Squadron in the Supreme, said: "I like Darlan and the 7-1 William Hill are offering is very generous. I'll be disappointed if he doesn't run a big race."

McManus and Henderson also team up with Binocular, who bids for second Champion Hurdle victory.

He won the race in 2010, but was forced to miss last year's contest and is 11-2 with Champion Hurdle sponsors Stan James.

"He's in great form and has had a great preparation," added McManus, speaking on The Morning Line on Tuesday.

"It's a big ask to beat Hurricane Fly, but he's in good shape and there won't be any excuses."

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