Thursday 29 June 2017

Harrington to use blinkers for Bostons' Hennessy bid

Thomas Kelly

Bostons Angel will bid to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season in next month's Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

Jessica Harrington's top-class stayer completed a hat-trick of Grade One victories in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last March, but has failed to rediscover that level of form during the current campaign.

After having unseated Robbie Power on his reappearance at Down Royal, the eight-year-old gelding raced lazily before staying on to finish a moderate third at Sandown on December 2, after which he missed an intended engagement over the festive period.

"He's back in full work now. I just wasn't 100pc happy with him leading up to Christmas, which is why he didn't run in the Lexus," said Harrington. "We had planned to run him in blinkers there and that is what he'll do next time when he runs in the Hennessy at Leopardstown."

The Moone handler's Oscars Well is set to remain at two miles for the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The seven-year-old was a Grade One winner over two and a half miles during his novice season and was an unlucky loser of the two-mile-five-furlong Neptune Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last spring.

He is winless since being dropped back in distance this season, but has twice been placed in top-class company, most recently finishing third behind Unaccompanied and Thousand Stars in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle.

"Everything is fine with him and I was happy enough with his run at Christmas," said Harrington. "He was only beaten just over three lengths, so it was another good run.

"He'll go for the Irish Champion Hurdle next and then to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle there."

Although Oscars Well is set to stick to the minimum distance for the foreseeable future, Harrington is not ruling out stepping her charge back up in distance towards the end of the campaign, with the Aintree Hurdle a possible target.

"That (Aintree Hurdle) could be a race we look at," the trainer revealed. "We know he stays further, so we can always step up in trip after Cheltenham."

Irish Independent

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