Road To Riches among almost 40 Gigginstown horses sold

Former Gold Cup third Road To Riches could return to Cheltenham this autumn after changing hands at Doncaster on Wednesday.

The 11-year-old was the star name among close to 40 horses sold by Gigginstown House Stud at the September Horses In Training Sale, as Michael O'Leary's operation conducted its annual dispersal.

Road To Riches won the Galway Plate and struck gold twice at Grade One level four years ago, landing the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

He went on to finish third behind Coneygree in the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup and returned to Prestbury Park to place behind the ill-fated Vautour in the Ryanair Chase 12 months later.

The Noel Meade-trained veteran finished a creditable sixth in the Grand National at Aintree in April, but was well beaten at Galway and Down Royal since and was knocked down for £35,000 to David Christie, who is a leading figure on the point to point circuit in Northern Ireland.

Christie said: "I know he's an older horse, but he moves like a four-year-old.

"He's been in Noel's all his life and hopefully a change of scenery will do him the world of good.

"He's been bought by a client to go for those cross-country races in Cheltenham, Auteuil and Punchestown. That's the number one plan."

He added: "He's been hunting in Ireland. Hopefully going down the cross-country route might just light the wick again.

"If that doesn't work out we can maybe aim him at a National in the spring, but we'll see.

"I think there's a cross-country race at Cheltenham in November so we might aim to start him off there."

Thunder And Roses, winner of the 2015 Irish Grand National for Gigginstown and the now-retired pair of Sandra Hughes and Katie Walsh, was bought by bloodstock agent Matthew Houldsworth for £21,000.

Houldsworth said: "He's been bought to go hunter chasing in Ireland."

Lord Scoundrel, who won the 2016 Galway Plate for Gordon Elliott and was seventh in this year's renewal behind stablemate Clarcam, is joining Graeme McPherson after being bought for just £9,000.

"There are no plans for him. We'll just get him home and see how he gets on," said the Gloucestershire-based trainer.

"He's obviously a quality horse with a cracking story behind him and at that price he was just too good to miss."

PA


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