TRAINER Malcolm Jefferson is considering options at Cheltenham and Doncaster for Attaglance following his excellent run in Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.
The seven-year-old finished strongly up the famous hill to pass the post fourth in the most fiercely competitive handicap of the season so far and could return to Prestbury Park for the December Gold Cup.
However, Attaglance has the option of running at Doncaster on the same day, where he could get his preferred sound surface.
“He’s come out of the race really well. I’m really pleased with him,” said Malton-based Jefferson. “He showed what a tough horse he is as he looked in trouble at one stage, but he’s stayed on really well up the hill.
“I’m not sure where he’ll go next. He’ll get an entry in the race at Cheltenham next month, but there is also a race at Doncaster on the same day. The ground was soft enough for him on Saturday. He’s a better horse on better ground and normally, you get better ground at Doncaster, so we’ll see.”
Jefferson also had news of star youngster Oscar Rock, who made such an impressive debut for the yard over hurdles at Wetherby at the start of the month.
The five-year-old, one of this season’s top novices, is likely to take in the Straightline Construction ‘The French Furze’ Novices’ Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday week, provided conditions are suitable.
“He’s been fine since Wetherby. He’s a nice horse at home, but I think he’s better horse on the racecourse, that’s where he comes alive,” said Jefferson. “His form tells you he’s very good, so we’ve just got to look after him and he can show everyone himself how good he is. The way we’re looking at the moment is the French Furze at Newcastle.”
Jefferson’s Our Ben Boy prevailed at Hexham yesterday, the final leg of an eyecatching treble for the in-form North Yorkshire rider Brian Hughes who won the first three races at the Northumberland track and now boasts the best strike-rate of his career.
Hughes was also in the saddle for Oscar Rock’s win, and Attaglance’s brave run at Cheltenham, and the former champion conditional also claimed the scalp of AP McCoy when Jefferson’s King Of The Wolds prevailed at Fakenham on Tuesday. That race saw McCoy suffer a heavy fall that forced him to give up three rides at Warwick yesterday.
Racing’s record-breaker hopes to return to action at Chepstow today.
Long Run is firmly on course for Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock after delighting connections in a schooling session.
The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, second in the last two runnings of this weekend’s Grade One feature, finished outside the first three for the first time over fences when a lacklustre fifth in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
A subsequent dirty scope was evidence the eight-year-old was not at the top of his game and owner Robert Waley-Cohen is hopeful Long Run will show his true colours on Merseyside after watching a session with jumping guru Yogi Breisner. He said: “He schooled really well. Everyone was very happy. It’s going to be an exciting day.”
The Mike Tindall co-owned Monbeg Dude will not defend his crown in the Coral Welsh National next month after connections decided to focus their attentions on a tilt at the Grand National at Aintree in the spring.