Saturday 17 February 2018

Lieutenant set Bowl assignment

First Lieutenant will be partnered by Bryan Cooper at Aintree
First Lieutenant will be partnered by Bryan Cooper at Aintree

Mouse Morris expects the step back up in trip to suit First Lieutenant in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree on Thursday.

After lengthy discussions with his owners Gigginstown House Stud before the Cheltenham Festival, it was decided the eight-year-old would run in the two-mile-five furlong Ryanair Chase, rather than the Gold Cup over three-and-a-quarter miles.

That left Sir Des Champs to run in the Gold Cup for the same owners and while both ran very creditably to finish second, Morris is happy his stable star gets to try his luck over a longer distance this week.

However, he has to do so without Gigginstown's retained jockey Davy Russell, who has been prevented from riding at the meeting by the British Horseracing Authority, despite being cleared to ride by the equivalent Irish body following the punctured lung he suffered at Cheltenham.

Bryan Cooper, who has ridden First Lieutenant on his last four starts, keeps the mount.

"He's back up in trip. He gets three miles no problem at all," said Morris.

"If anything he just lacked a bit of toe (at Cheltenham) but I'm not worried at all about going up in trip.

"It's unreal Davy can't ride him and I'm sure if it was any other meeting it wouldn't be a problem, but you can understand why they are being cautious.

"He ran a good race in the Ryanair and I'm sure he'll go well again."

Press Association

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