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Roque to defend Down Royal crown

QUITO DE LA ROQUE is set to attempt to defend his crown in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal on November 3.

COLM MURPHY'S charge got up close home to deny Sizing Europe in the three-mile feature but only ran once more last term, when third to Synchronised in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in late December.

“More than likely we’ll start him in Down Royal again in the race he won last year,” Murphy said.

“He seems well and is probably a bit more forward this year than last year. We had a good few stop starts.

“All’s going well and fingers crossed he stays well for the next couple of weeks.

“I suppose we’ll be looking at the obvious races like Leopardstown at Christmas and so forth.


“There was a lot of talk last year and we did plenty of dreaming about him.

“I think we’ll take it race by race. He’s had his fair share of problems and if he doesn’t have any recurrence of those, you’d be hopeful of going for some of the better staying chases.”