Hunt Ball: now looks set to bypass the American Grand NationalPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Hunt Ball looks set to return after poor show
HUNT BALL has all but booked his ticket for a flight back home following another disappointing performance in the Lonesome Glory Hurdle at Belmont Park on Thursday.
Connections had planned to run the 2012 Cheltenham Festival winner in the Grand National on October 19 but warned they would bypass the $250,000 feature and send Hunt Ball home early should he run poorly.
Nick Carter, head of the Atlantic Equine syndicate, said prior to the race: "If he runs badly we'll miss the American Grand National and bring him home; if he runs well we'll keep him out here for that race and he'll come back afterwards."
Hunt Ball, ridden by Ross Geraghty, travelled and jumped nicely throughout the early stages of the race, tracking stablemate Divine Fortune who set the pace.
However, when turning for home the Jonathan Sheppard-trained eight-year-old struggled to keep pace with the leading contenders and crossed the line in sixth.
Gustavian, ridden by Paddy Young, held off the challenge of runner-up All Together.