First Lieutenant: part of strong Gigginstown House Stud contingentPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Punchestown Gold Cup target for Lieutenant
FIRST LIEUTENANT, runner-up in the Ryanair at the Cheltenham Festival before going one better in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree, is likely to enhance an already strong Gigginstown House Stud team for the Bet Online With The Tote.com Punchestown Gold Cup.
The Mouse Morris-trained eight-year-old is set to join Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs and Quito De La Roque in the Grade 1 race on April 24 for Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, with Morris out to win the race for the second consecutive year having struck with China Rock in 2012.
Eddie O'Leary of Gigginstown House Stud said on Thursday: "All going well the plan is for Sir Des Champs to run in the Bet Online With The Tote.com Punchestown Gold Cup. We were second at Cheltenham and you can't change the result but we'll hope for a good show at Punchestown.
"There's a good chance that First Lieutenant will run as well. It's been all good so far with him after Aintree and the horse will line up as long as he tells us he wants to run. Quito De La Roque is likely to go for the race as well. We were happy enough with him at Aintree - he ran a very good race at his level and probably just wasn't quite good enough there."
A total of 19 runners have been entered for the 3m1f Grade 1, with Sizing Europe, Long Run and Riverside Theatre all potential runners in a star-studded cast.