Road To Respect to skip second tilt at the Magners Gold Cup for Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham
Trainer Noel Meade has confirmed that Road To Respect will skip a second tilt at the Magners Gold Cup at Cheltenham next week and instead run in Thursday's Ryanair Chase.
The Gigginstown House-owned Road To Respect was as short as 12/1 for the Gold Cup having been narrowly touched off by Bellshill in the Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival, but Meade today told The Herald within the last few minutes that the plan is to run in the Ryanair instead.
"We have now decided Road To Respect is going to run in the Ryanair and not the Gold Cup," Meade said.
Road To Respect, who finished fourth in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham last year behind Native River, is a previous winner over the Ryanair Chase course and distance having won the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2017.
"It was a big call but I'm pretty happy with it. I just thought he didn't get home last year, the Gold Cup is run over three miles and two and a half furlongs so the horse that stays three miles doesn't always stay those two and a half furlongs. I'm happy enough with the call to be honest after having the discussion with Michael and Eddie (O'Leary)," Meade added.
The decision is likely to rule Meade's improving Tout Est Permis out of the Cheltenham Festival. Tout Est Permis currently holds entries for both the Ryanair Chase and the Gold Cup.
"Tout Est Permis may travel over but is only likely to run if anything happened to Road To Respect. He's only a six-year-old and could go for the Aintree Bowl or the Punchestown Gold Cup instead."