Vent primed for Champion Bumper
Published 28/02/2013 | 15:26
Liz Doyle has decided against taking Le Vent D'Antan to Leopardstown for a gallop after racing on Sunday.
The four-year-old is strongly fancied for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper and Doyle was expected to fine tune his preparations along with a host of other stars at the weekend. However, Doyle was slightly concerned about the risk of drying ground at Leopardstown and gave him a spin earlier this week instead.
While everything is going to plan, she admits to being relieved at the prospect of rain at Cheltenham in the lead up to the meeting. Doyle had Bumper runner-up Al Ferof and winner Cheltenian in her care before they ran at Cheltenham and is feeling the pressure a bit more this year as it is now down to her.
Doyle said: "He seems very well. I'm not going to take him to Leopardstown now. I just thought the ground could get a bit quick for him so we took him for a spin on a grass gallop on Tuesday instead.
"He's bouncing, he has been perfect, but we could just do with a bit of rain before Cheltenham, which it looks like they'll get. There's just a question mark over him on good ground and I'd rather run with everything in his favour.
"Mikey Fogarty rode him in the gallop, like he always does. It was over one-mile-six with two others. He looks very healthy. In the last six months we've not had a problem, he's not taken a lame step and he's very straightforward.
"He's done a bit of travelling, he came over from France and that didn't bother him.
"I know he's only four and Cue Card is the only four-year-old to win it but plenty have run well in it.
"There's a bit more pressure this year than when Al Ferof and Cheltenian ran! We only have 30 in training so to have found three horses good enough to run in it, never mind head there with big chances, is amazing.
"He ticks all the boxes and now we're just hoping the ground isn't too fast."