Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 February 2018

Exciting novice Last Instalment is named for Leopardstown

PHILIP Fenton's exciting novice Last Instalment is an intended runner in the Topaz Fort Leney Novice Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.

The six-year-old made it two wins from as many starts over fences with an impressive performance in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown last month and is now set to step up to Grade One level.

Last Instalment also holds an entry at Limerick on Monday and owners Gigginstown House Stud are mob-handed in the Fort Leney, but Fenton expects his charge to be in the line-up.

"He'll more than likely go to Leopardstown," said Fenton.

"Everything has been fine with him since his last run and we're looking forward to Wednesday. He's stepping back up to three miles, but that shouldn't be a problem.

"We'll wait and see what happens before we make any plans for the spring. I'd imagine he'll be entered in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, or he could wait for the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse."

Maiden chaser Shinrock Paddy will be among those to take on Last Instalment.

A Grade One winner over hurdles, the seven-year-old has failed to replicate that level of form over the larger obstacles, but has been placed the last twice.

Paul Nolan's charge also has the option of running in a beginners' chase at Leopardstown 24 hours later, but the trainer is leaning towards the three-mile top-level prize.

"The beginners' chase he's entered in the following day looks very competitive, so we might as well have a crack at the Grade One," Nolan told At The Races.

"He has to improve and his jumping at the moment is not good enough. He is giving his fences far too much respect and I think going left-handed will help him.

"Hopefully, eventually the penny will drop and he'll take a cut at his fences a bit better, but he'll have to improve his jumping an awful.

"He was rated 150 over hurdles and he's a stone less over fences. He's just that bit slow over his fences and whether he will get better or not remains to be seen.

"Going left-handed will help and the extra half-mile will help as well, so fingers crossed he will improve."

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