Sunday 19 November 2017

Murphy weighing up British raid for Quito

Quito De La Roque could next week line up on British soil at either Sandown or Aintree as trainer Colm Murphy considers the next plan of attack for his exciting chaser.

The seven-year-old rounded off his novice campaign over fences with high-profile wins at Aintree and Punchestown and was a determined winner of the Champion Chase at Down Royal on his seasonal return.

The Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas is on Quito De La Roque's radar, but Murphy is leaning towards giving his charge a run in the meantime. Friday's Sportingbet Future Stars Chase at Sandown and the Betfred Goals Galore Bonus Chase at Aintree on Saturday are possible options.

"The plan would probably be to get a run into him before Christmas, but I'm not sure where that will be," said Murphy. "We've stuck him in at Sandown and Aintree next week and he's obviously in the John Durkan (Memorial Chase at Punchestown, December 11), so we have a load of options. I'll have a word with the owners and see which way we're going to go. They are only options and nothing is concrete. He had a hard race in Down Royal but he is coming back to himself."

Meanwhile, Grands Crus could strut his stuff next in the Feltham Chase at Kempton on St Stephen's Day after taking his 100% record over fences to two at Newbury on Thursday. The three-mile Grade One novice event is a possible for the former classy staying hurdler after adding to his previous success over fences at Cheltenham.

Trainer David Pipe will chat with the owners before confirming plans for the six-year-old grey.

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