Bolger considering raid on Huntingdon with Ballyoisin
A daring raid on Huntingdon's Peterborough Chase on Sunday is under consideration for the improving Ballyoisin, according to his trainer Enda Bolger.
The JP McManus-owned six-year-old was a comprehensive winner of a valuable handicap at Cork in October, earning him a step up in class for a Grade Two at Down Royal last month.
Ballyoisin was far from disgraced in finishing second, beaten just half a length by Noel Meade's dual Grade One winner Disko, and with options at home thin on the ground, he is one of 13 entries for this weekend's two-and-a-half-mile feature at Huntingdon.
"We decided we'd give him the entry and we'll mull over it for the net couple of days," said Bolger. "There's also a race the Hilly Way Chase (at Cork), so we'll see which way we go.
"He's rated 157 now and there aren't many options when you get to that sort of rating. The ground in Huntingdon would probably suit him, but we won't make any decisions until later in the week."
Nicky Henderson claimed the prize for the fifth time 12 months ago with Josses Hill and he could return to defend his crown.
The Seven Barrows handler could also saddle impressive recent Ascot scorer Top Notch, while Paul Nicholls has entered Ptit Zig and San Benedeto. Malcolm Jefferson could be represented by Cloudy Dream.
Nicholls, meanwhile, is set to run course specialist As De Mee in the Randox Health Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday. The trainer has also left the seven-year-old in the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase on the same card which he won 12 months ago, but is keen to run him in the longer contest unless conditions deteriorate.
The first three home 12 months ago - Vieux Lion Rouge, Jimmy Moffatt's Highland Lodge and The Last Samuri - could clash again.
The latter, trained by Kim Bailey, tops the weights on 11st 12lb while David Pipe's Vieux Lion Rouge has 11st 5lb and Highland Lodge 10st 5lb.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the race five times and his sole entry is Blaklion (11st 6lb), which was fourth in the Grand National.
He ran well on his seasonal debut when only beaten half a length by Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
The four Irish-trained possibles are Jim Culloty's 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere, Mouse Morris's 2016 Irish National scorer Rogue Angel, Pat Griffin's Portrait King and Eoghan O'Grady's Westerner Point.