Cape Tribulation: Gold Cup fifth is set to go to Aintree for Betfred BowlPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Cape lined up for Hunt Ball clash at Aintree
CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP fifth Cape Tribulation is being pointed at Aintree's Betfred Bowl next month, where he is likely to face Hunt Ball.
Trainer Malcolm Jefferson believes his nine-year-old can improve with the better ground he is likely to encounter at Liverpool on april 4. Cape Tribulation, who finished 22 lengths behind Bobs Worth at Cheltenham, has winning form at Aintree as he landed a Grade 3 hurdle there last year.
Jefferson said: "He's come out of the Gold Cup grand and might go for Liverpool next. There aren't many places he can go and I wouldn't want him to carry big weights in handicaps.
"He made a little mistake at the water jump but ran a grand race and earned £12,000 in prize-money. But I'm not sure he wants ground as heavy as that. He won his two hurdles at Cheltenham and Aintree last year on good ground, so there could be more improvement to come on a better surface."
Hunt Ball's trainer Keiran Burke confirmed the eight-year-old on course for the Bowl following his fourth place in the Byrne Group Plate over 2m5f at Cheltenham.
He said: "I was pleased with that and he's come out of the race all right. I'm not afraid to go back up to three miles for the Bowl. Maybe he's lost a bit of speed and the step up in trip will help."