Rathgar Beau remains a possible for Sandown

RATHGAR BEAU remains a possible contender for the William Hill - Tingle Creek Trophy at Sandown on December 3 despite having the Hilly Way Chase at Cork eight days later as his main target.

Trainer Eamonn Sheehy has refused to rule the nine-year-old out of a clash with champion two-miler Moscow Flyer on Saturday week, after his pleasing reappearance when second to War Of Attrition.

“Rathgar Beau is in great form and goes to Cork on December 11 for the Hilly Way Chase and that is his Irish target, but the Tingle Creek is still a possibility,” said Sheehy.

Rathgar Beau became the first horse to beat Moscow Flyer over fences when nailing the veteran on the line to take the Kerrygold Champion Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April.

And the pair are likely to lock horns again in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival - a race which Moscow Flyer has won twice, including last March, when Rathgar Beau finished third in the Daily Telegraph Festival Trophy.

“He will go for the two-miler at Leopardstown over Christmas (Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase) and, without a doubt, will run in the Champion Chase this year,” Sheehy continued.

“We should have run in it last season and we would probably have been placed in it, but hindsight is a great thing.”

Meanwhile Sheehy has nominated the Durkan New Homes Novice Chase at Leopardstown on December 26 as the next major target for his unbeaten rising star Justified.

Sheehy’s charge made it two from two over fences when beating Wild Passion by an impressive 14 lengths in a Grade Two contest at Punchestown on Sunday after a faultless chasing bow at the same track last month.

“He is 100 per cent this morning and did it very well yesterday - he jumped and galloped well,” said Sheehy.

“He is probably a better chaser than hurdler. He jumps much better and makes lengths over his fences.

“His main target will now be the €100,000 chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, although he is in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse in two weeks time and we will have a look at that first.

“He might not run there but he will definitely go to Leopardstown.”

The six-year-old, who finished eighth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last term, is now a leading fancy for the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy next March and was cut into 7-1 by most firms after his latest success.

Confirming his charge an intended starter in the Prestbury Park race, Sheehy added: “All going well he will then go on to the Irish Arkle and then to Cheltenham.”

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