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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Road To Riches primed for Kerry National clash with Coneygree

O'Leary on Road To Riches (right): "We need to find his mojo somewhere and, if this doesn’t work, maybe he’ll be better off going point-to-pointing or something."
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There you were thinking Irish trainers would be petrified at the prospect of facing Coneygree in the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel.

Not Noel Meade. He's praying the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner makes the trip to the south of Ireland on September 13 in order to ensure his two-time Grade 1 winner Road To Riches sneaks in off a low weight.

Road To Riches was a close-up third behind Coneygree in that aforementioned Gold Cup and Meade is keen to have another crack at Mark Bradstock's stable star as he would be in receipt of lumps of weight. 

He said: "I really hope the Bradstocks bring Coneygree to Listowel, that would suit me just fine! If he made the trip over we'd sneak into the Kerry National off around 10st or something like that. I'd love that." 

He added: "Road To Riches lives outside in the paddock all the time now and that new regime seems to be suiting him. I've been very happy with him since the Galway Plate and I'd like to think he'd have a great chance in the Kerry National. He's coming back to himself."

Meade was speaking after welcoming owners to his Tu Va stables in Castletown on Sunday morning, where the former champion trainer gave the lowdown on more than 100 horses paraded in front of his visitors. 

Disko: with trainer Noel Meade

Disko won two Grade 1s last season, lowering the colours of subsequent Irish Grand National winner Our Duke in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in the first of them, while Road To Respect inflicted a shock defeat on Yorkhill in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. 

Both of those have blossomed over the summer according to Meade, while the unbeaten Red Jack is one of the leading ante-post fancies for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Meade said: "We've a great bunch of horses to go to war with this season and it's very exciting for everyone.

"Disko and Road To Respect were top staying novices last season and hopefully they will be able to run in all the top Grade 1s this season."


Five to follow

Calicojack
He finished fourth in the Tattersalls Sales Bumper at Fairyhouse the season before last but picked up a stress crack in his cannonbone and missed last season. We think he could be very useful on soft ground and we're excited about him.

De Name Escapes Me 
I was absolutely convinced he'd run a massive race in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and I even rang JP [McManus] to advise he back him! Something happened on the way over, though, and he ran a lifeless race. He wasn't right after it either. He'll be aimed at all the top handicap hurdles this season and I think he can win one.

Disko
He won two Grade 1s last year and we're really looking forward to seeing what he can do this season. We've very high hopes for him and, if he stays the trip, he could develop into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender. I think he'll be twice the horse this year that he was last season.

Red Jack
He won his two bumpers last season and I've no doubt he'll develop into one of the top novice hurdles around this season. We like him a lot and he's done well over the summer.

Minella Fair
I love this fella – he really could be anything. He won his bumper by a wide margin at Limerick last Christmas and really loves soft ground. Once we get some he will be ready to roll.

I really hope the Bradstock's bring Coneygree to Listowel. That would suit me just fine!
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