Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 March 2018

Lavelle ready to divert River across the water

The big race at Fairyhouse on Saturday, the Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase, looks like attracting an English invader as Emma Lavelle is debating whether to bring over Coole River.

With very few National Hunt meetings surviving in England, Lavelle is anxious is to get a run into her charge, which had been trained by Jessica Harrington prior to this season.

Second at Wincanton on his first try over fences after a huge layoff, Coole River was then a distant third at Kempton on St Stephen's Day.

"I think there's a chance he will go over," said Lavelle. "He is also in at Wincanton on Thursday, although there must be a doubt about whether the meeting is on. I need to have a good look at the entries but I thought two miles and one at Fairyhouse would suit.

"It was a bit of a non-event last time as he and Valmari cut each other's throats in front, and I'd like to try dropping him back."

Among Coole River's 12 possible rivals are last year's County Hurdle winner Alderwood, which is starting to get it together over fences, Tony Martin's Pires and the Willie Mullins pair Lambro and Quiscover Fontaine.

Meanwhile, impressive Leopardstown winner Le Vent D'Antan is to head straight to the Weatherbys Champion Bumper via a racecourse gallop.

The biggest question over the four-year-old, which bolted up on Saturday, is whether he will still be in the care of Liz Doyle, but there is no news of a transfer just yet.

Doyle brought through the ranks both 2011 Bumper star Cheltenian and Al Ferof, which took that year's Supreme and has become a high-class chaser, before they moved to Britain.

"There have been a lot of enquiries, nothing has happened at the minute, but the syndicate who own him are based in London and I imagine they will be talking about it," said the Wexford handler.

"I don't know if they want to sell, I hope he stays with us, but it's up to them what they want to do."

Le Vent D'Antan, whose grandmother is the great racemare Pebbles, is currently a general 12/1 for Festival glory.

Doyle added: "It might be at Leopardstown, depending on the ground, but he'll have a day away somewhere and won't have another race before Cheltenham. It's a long six weeks, but that's the plan."

Irish Independent

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