Moon Dice: will not run before next month's Guinness Galway HurdlePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Moon Dice 'as good as ever' for Galway repeat
PAUL FLYNN has declared defending champion Moon Dice "as good as ever" as he continued preparations for next month's Guinness Galway Hurdle.
The seven-year-old has run only three times since his emphatic four-and-a-half-length win at Galway and has been off the track since finishing down the field in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but he will not run before his Galway test.
Flynn said: "He definitely won't run beforehand. He's had a nightmare since winning it last year. He ran a good race to be fourth in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham [last November], but was very ill when running in the County Hurdle at the festival.
"We've cured all that and he's back to his best. I hope The Real Article runs though - I'd rather not have him carrying top weight."
Flynn hopes to retain the services of Tom Doyle, who has ridden the Norwich gelding on his latest five outings, but warned that he was also the regular rider of fellow big-race fancy Whatuthink.
Money came on Tuesday for the John Kiely-trained Carlingford Lough, who was backed from into 12-1 (from 16s) with Ladbrokes.
Trainer Gordon Elliott nominated Plan A, Cause Of Causes and Discoteca as his intended Galway Hurdle runners, and added: "Carlito Brigante will probably run in the Galway Plate if the ground is okay and His Excellency could sneak in at the bottom.
"I'll talk to the owners and see how he comes out of his Killarney win. He's got the Galway Hurdle as an option."