Djakadam: fell in the BetBright Trial Chase over the weekendPICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
Djakadam to go straight
to Festival after tumble
DJAKADAM, who required stitches to his chest after falling in the BetBright Trial Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday, will go straight for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup without another run, trainer Willie Mullins said.
Favourite for the Gold Cup going into Saturday's race, Djakadam lost his position at the head of the market to stablemate Vautour, who could yet line up in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Djakadam was one of a number of reversals for Mullins' all-conquering yard on Saturday when all four of his runners in Britain were defeated, and the trainer speculated something may have been amiss with his three Doncaster runners.
Speaking at Punchestown on Sunday, when he landed the Grade 2 BoyleSports Tied Cottage Chase with Felix Yonger, Mullins said: "Djakadam got home last night. He has a few stitches high up on his chest but was able to walk out this morning. Our vet had a look at him and was very pleased with him.
"He'll be walking again for the next few days and once the stitches do their job everything should be fine and the Gold Cup will be his next race. I thought immediately after he fell that we might look for another race for him before the festival, but that won't be happening now."
Mullins added: "Vautour is in the Irish Gold Cup on Saturday and there are alternatives for him at Newbury [Betfair Denman Chase] and Gowran Park [Red Mills Chase], although I'm not sure I want to run him before Cheltenham. We'll wait a bit longer before deciding."
Reflecting on his Saturday runners, Mullins added: "All told it was a disappointing day with the four horses we sent to England. I'm not sure, but I think it's possible the three we sent to Doncaster might have picked up a chill on the ferry over.
"Morning Run ran quite well in the mares' hurdle and probably isn't quite back to herself but Shaneshill and Up For Review were both disappointing.
"I'm not taking anything away from the winner [Barters Hill] but I thought Up For Review was beaten too far out for it to have been his true running, while Paul [Townend] said he was flat out on Shaneshill for most of the way in the novice chase.
"Shaneshill probably needs to step up in trip. I'm certainly not ruling any of the three out of Cheltenham at this stage."