Friday 23 February 2018

Forpady in line to take chance in Champion Chase as Big Zeb ruled out


Thomas Kelly

Forpadydeplasterer could be given one more chance to gain a deserved first success of the season in the Champion Chase at Punchestown.

The eight-year-old filled the runner-up spot for the fifth time in succession in last Friday's Melling Chase at Aintree, following on from his fine second place in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

"He's come out of Aintree fine and there isn't a bother on him. It's obviously a bit frustrating to be second again but he's so consistent and ran another good race," said trainer Tom Cooper.

His latest defeat came over two and a half miles but Cooper believes jumping errors rather than a lack of stamina were his downfall on the day.

"It's hard to know about the trip as he just didn't jump as fluently over the first four or five fences as he normally does and you can't afford to do that at the top level. We'll definitely be keeping him in at Punchestown and we'll just see how he is nearer the time before making a final decision."

Forpadydeplasterer is one of 11 hopefuls remaining in Tuesday's feature event following the latest entry stage, with Master Minded and Champion Chase winner Big Zeb notable absentees.

Willie Mullins has left in Barker, Golden Silver and Scotsirish, while Master Minded's trainer Paul Nicholls could still be represented by Twist Magic.

Joining him on the trip from Britain could be Kalahari King, an early faller in last week's Melling Chase, and the Nick Williams-trained Cornas.

Don't Be Bitin, Natal, Salford City and Arkle Trophy winner Sizing Europe complete the entries.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport