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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Grade 1 winner Gilgamboa set for switch to point-to-points

Gilgamboa on his way to finishing fourth in the Grand National at Aintree in 2016
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Grade 1-winning chaser Gilgamboa is set to join the point-to-pointing ranks, with Enda Bolger intending to run his 159-rated chaser in an open event at Castletown-Geoghegan on Sunday.

The nine-year-old, who won the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase in 2015 and finished fourth in the 2016 Grand National, was last seen when brought down three fences from home in the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase at Cork in December, having been sent off 9-2 to beat Douvan.

Bolger said: "He won't be eligible for the Foxhunter at Cheltenham next March as he's over-qualified, similar to Foxrock last year. We'll start off on Sunday and begin to plan away from there."

The horse named after Bruce Springsteen's bodyguard is likely to benefit from a confidence-building season according to the Limerick handler.

"You'll always have the Aintree Foxhunters' in the back of your mind with him, but it'll be very much a gentle-gentle approach," said Bolger. "We want to build up his confidence again after being brought down last time at Cork – he was a little rattled after that."

On The Fringe landing the Aintree Foxhunters' in 2016 under Jamie Codd

There was also a positive bulletin on the stable's legendary hunter chaser On The Fringe, who looks set to return earlier than at Leopardstown in February, which has been the timetable racegoers have become accustomed to.

Bolger said of his 12-year-old: "On The Fringe is back in again and we'll be going down the same route as usual with him, but we'll probably be starting off him a little earlier this time. He could run before Christmas."

Among the entrants for Gilgamboa's point-to-point debut in County Westmeath on Sunday are last season's champion point-to-pointer Ourmanmassini and My Wigwam Or Yours, formerly trained by Nicky Henderson.

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You'll always have Aintree in the back of your mind with him but it'll be very much a gentle-gentle approach
E.W. Terms
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