Thursday 8 December 2016

Road To Riches and Apache Stronghold to duck Durkan, says Noel Meade

Published 30/11/2015 | 13:11

Texas Jack will be Noel Meade's representative in the John Durkan
Texas Jack will be Noel Meade's representative in the John Durkan

Noel Meade is set to rely upon likely outsider Texas Jack in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday after the trainer confirmed Road To Riches and Apache Stronghold will miss the Grade One.

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Cheltenham Gold Cup third Road To Riches heads the ante-post betting for the two-and-a-half-mile contest after he made an impressive reappearance in the Clonmel Oil Chase earlier this month.

But he is instead being held back for an appearance over the Festive period, with the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown among his options.

Apache Stronghold, one of last season's leading novice chasers, has not yet made his comeback after suffering a minor injury.

Meade said: "We'll run Texas Jack in the Durkan.

"Apache Stronghold won't run. He just had a very slight setback, so we'll look towards Christmas for him now.

"Road To Riches will be out over Christmas somewhere as well, hopefully.

"We'll see where we go nearer the time."

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