Saturday 23 September 2017

Lexus aim for Lieutenant

First Lieutenant is set for the Lexus Chase
First Lieutenant is set for the Lexus Chase

First Lieutenant is set to head straight for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over the Festive period following his disappointing display at Down Royal last month.

Mouse Morris' star chaser was placed on multiple occasions at Grade One level last season and enjoyed his day in the sun in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree in April.

He has failed to fire in two starts this season, however, being beaten at odds-on at Punchestown before trailing home a well-beaten fourth in the Jnwine.com Champion Chase.

The Betfair Chase at Haydock was considered and he is also entered in next weekend's John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, but Morris is keen to give his charge a break before cranking things up for the second half of the season.

"He is in the John Durkan, but I think we'll probably wait for the Lexus at Christmas," said the trainer.

"We thought about the Haydock race, but his run in the north was so poor we decided to wait with him.

"Nothing really came to light (after Down Royal). It was just one of those days and one of the mysteries of racing.

"He seems to be coming back to himself now, so we'll see how we go in Leopardstown."

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