Doyle to aim Lodge at Festival bumper
Liz Doyle will consider a tilt at the Champion Bumper for Golan Lodge following his impressive racecourse bow at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
The six-year-old edged out Willie Mullins-trained newcomer An Dearg Mor at the Co Meath venue, with the two pulling 12 lengths clear of the remainder to suggest the form has some substance.
Doyle feels her charge is an ideal candidate for a trip to the Cheltenham Festival next month, but will see how he recovers from his exertions before making a final decision.
"It was a good performance," said the Co Wexford handler. "The first two drew clear and only had a furlong to do so as Jamie (Codd) had our horse covered up.
"We do like him at home. He's worked well and galloped well and we've given him an entry in the Cheltenham bumper this morning, so we'll decide in the next 10 days or so whether he's going to go.
"I think he is the right sort of horse for the race in that he's a tough, hardy horse who does well and he's a bit of age under him being a six-year-old.
"I was delighted with the way he handled the soft to heavy in Fairyhouse and showed plenty of gears, but I think he'll definitely love better ground."
Another Doyle inmate pencilled in for a trip across the Irish Sea is Kauto Grand Mogol, a half-brother to the legendary Kauto Star.
The seven-year-old won two of his first three starts over hurdles and has had a wind operation since disappointing at Clonmel earlier this month.
"We could take Kauto Grand Mogol for one of the handicaps and the Coral (Cup) is the race I've got at the back of my mind," said Doyle.
Meanwhile, Ryanair has been announced as the new sponsor of the €100,000 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse on April 5.
The two-and-a-half-mile Grade One for novice chasers, formerly known as the Powers Gold Cup, has been won by such leading lights as Carvill's Hill, Dorans Pride, Native Upmanship and Like-A-Butterfly over the years. Last season's renewal went to the Michael Winters-trained Rebel Fitz, ridden by Barry Geraghty.
To celebrate its new sponsorship the airline will run a number of promotions on Easter Sunday including 30 free entrance tickets to Ryanair Customers flying home from Ireland for Easter weekend and a buy-one-get-one-free offer to all Ryanair customers who wish to bring a friend racing on Easter Sunday.
Across the water, tomorrow's meeting at Lingfield has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.