Gigginstown Stars to raid Cheltenham Festival


Tagged under: 3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 3m 2 1/2f

Gigginstown House Stud is enjoying another successful campaign in Ireland and has a particularly strong bunch of young chasers to raid the 2012 Cheltenham Festival novice events.

Last Instalment and Bog Warrior have picked up Grade 1 wins with First Lieutenant and unbeaten Sir Des Champs also performing with credit.

Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O’Leary revealed he is looking to give most of the team another spin in Ireland before making an assault on the Cheltenham Festival in March.

"There is the (Irish) Arkle and the Moriarty coming up before Cheltenham and we'll probably have runners in those. Those races will tell us a bit more and fingers crossed we can get to Cheltenham with some of them in good form,” he said.

Trainer Mouse Morris wants First Lieutenant to follow a similar route to the one he made when winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival.

"First Lieutenant ran well over Christmas. Mouse likes to run his horses at Christmas and go straight to Cheltenham, so that is what First Lieutenant will do all being well. His next race will be the RSA Chase.

"The others could run again before Cheltenham, so we'll see what happens," added O’Leary.

The owners are hoping Quito De la Roque can emulate War of Attrition who won the 2006 Gold Cup. The eight-year-old trained by Colm Murphy beat Sizing Europe in a Grade 1 event at Down Royal on his seasonal debut. He disappointed on his re-appearance when third to Synchronised in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown and needs a good run in the Irish Hennessy in February to book his place at the Cheltenham Festival.

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