Cooper in battle to keep stable moving
Tom Cooper, who is based close to Tralee, is encountering real problems in keeping his horses in meaningful work as he comes to terms with rising star River Liane being ruled out for the rest of the season.
"We're just about keeping them on the move as the weather has been quite bad down around here.
"We harrow and rotovate the gallops but you couldn't do much on it at the moment -- it wouldn't be safe.
"Although we can also go to the beach, again it's only a matter of allowing the horses to stretch their legs. Basically we're going nowhere.
"River Liane unfortunately picked up an injury at Limerick (where he was runner-up to Dancing Tornado) and I had it confirmed today -- it's a tendon strain and he's probably gone now for 12 months."
Cooper had better news, however, of last March's Irish Independent Arkle Trophy hero Forpadydeplasterer, which was ruled out of Leopardstown's Dial-A-Bet Chase last month after being cast in his box.
"The horse is okay again and I've entered him in the Victor Chandler Chase on January 23 at Ascot which would suit him as the ground is usually nicer there.
"Whether that plan happens is anyone's guess and the other option before Cheltenham is the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on January 31."