Disko King George bid likely as Gigginstown team starts to take shape
Disko looks increasingly likely to represent Gigginstown House Stud in the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton, while stablemate Road To Respect could stay at home to contest the Leopardstown Christmas Chase two days later.
That was the lie of the land on Monday, when racing manager Eddie O'Leary ran the rule over Gigginstown's awesome armoury being readied for the major festive races on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Disko – who has been supported at decent prices for the Kempton showpiece – and Road To Respect are trained by Noel Meade.
O'Leary said: “It would look like Disko will represent us in the King George, if we are to go at all, because Road To Respect looks like he is better going left-handed, which would make him more likely to run at Leopardstown.
“We’ll be liaising with Noel and we’ll be happy to go along with whatever he decides – it’ll be his call."
Of Disko, a dual Grade 1-winning novice chaser and a general 16-1 shot for the King George, O’Leary added: “The races are there to be run and if Noel decides that’s what he wants to do I’d be more than happy to see Disko run at Kempton.”
Outlander, a rather surprising winner of last year’s Lexus Chase, is on course for Leopardstown again along with Road To Respect.
O’Leary continued: “Outlander will run in the race that was the Lexus. Things have to happen right for him, and when they do he can look very good, but when they don’t he looks terrible.
“There’s a good Outlander and a bad one. I’d be hopeful the better one turns up at Leopardstown, but it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic race this year.
“You’ve Willie’s horse [Yorkhill] and Sizing John to beat, so it looks like it’s shaping up to be one of the races of the Christmas period.”
O’Leary also revealed that Valseur Lido could make his eagerly awaited return from a condylar fracture to a cannonbone sustained in January, and provided an update on Petit Mouchoir, out of action since making a faultless start to his career over fences at Punchestown in October.
He said: “Valseur Lido will hopefully return in the same race as Outlander and Road To Respect. He had a fracture last season. It healed perfectly and he’s sound, but he had a small problem with a trapped epiglottis, which is why he hasn’t run yet.
“He was all set to run at Down Royal in the Grade 1 JNWine.com Champion Chase, a race he won last year, but we had to get that sorted. He’s over that now and might be under the radar.”
He added: “Petit Mouchoir is also fine. He suffered a small fracture after winning at Punchestown but we put a pin in it and he’s back cantering well. Hopefully we’ll have him right for the Irish Arkle in February.”
The Gigginstown boss also revealed plans for other winter warmers such as Mengli Khan, Death Duty, Apple’s Jade and Tombstone.
He said: “Apple’s Jade steps up to three miles for the first time in the Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 28.
“She runs there because I'd rather that than run her over two miles. The plan remains the mares' hurdle at Cheltenham and we’d probably go straight there after Leopardstown.
“Mengli Khan has done nothing wrong so far and runs in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle, while Tombstone goes in the Racing Post Novice Chase.
“We're going to Limerick with Death Duty as I’d concur with Gordon [Elliott] in keeping him to around two and a half miles for now. He’ll run in the Greenmount Park Novice Chase before going back to Leopardstown in the new year for the Dr PJ Moriarty Chase, all being well.”
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