Martin gives Ebor ace green light for Leopardstown mission
Tony Martin looks set to give the dangerously well-handicapped Heartbreak City the green light for the €100,000 Coral.ie Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 22.
The seven-year-old was beaten just a head in the Melbourne Cup in November, and as well as winning the £280,000 Ebor on the Flat last summer, he also provided his connections with a day to remember at the Galway festival when winning a valuable handicap hurdle over two miles.
The owners of the globetrotting gelding, the Here For The Craic Partnership, are self-confessed jumps fans and Martin looks set to aim their potentially well-handicapped hurdler at the major jumps meetings for the foreseeable future, beginning at Leopardstown.
Martin said: “His next run will be at Leopardstown for the Coral.ie Hurdle and we will take things from there. The lads that own him are a great bunch and they would be favouring a jumps campaign for the horse.
“He has done very well on the Flat, for sure, but the hurdles are there to be jumped and there’s no guarantee that he will be as good over jumps.
“Look at Leg Spinner, a horse I won the Cesarewitch with – he was never as good a horse over jumps. They are two completely different disciplines and time will tell if he’s well handicapped over hurdles or not.”
Martin last won the Coral.ie Hurdle in 2003 with Xenophon, and the Meath trainer has also entered Golden Spear, Pyromaniac and Tudor City in this year’s renewal.
He added: “All going well, we will have a few runners in the race. There is a big prize fund on offer and we will target a few of ours at it.”
Gordon Elliott is responsible for five of the 35 entries, including the Gigginstown pair Tombstone and Tycoon Price.
Elliott said: "Both Tycoon Prince and Tombstone are possibles for the race. They will be kept hurdling for the season and won't be going over fences at this stage of the year as it’s probably a little late.”
The Longwood-based handler also has a strong hand in the Coral.ie Leopardstown Chase, where topweight Empire Of Dirt could bid to win back-to-back renewals.
He said: "Empire Of Dirt is in great form but he also has the option of running in the Stan James Irish Gold Cup. We have plenty of entries in the race and we will run whatever we have that's suitable at the time."