Trafford Lad on Cheltenham trail

TRAFFORD LAD will be given the chance to enhance his growing reputation on the grandest stage of all as trainer Dusty Sheehy eyes a trip to Cheltenham in March.

The progressive six-year-old went down narrowly to Venalmar after attempting to give weight to all eight of his rivals in the Grade Two Woodlands Park 100 Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday.

“The Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham will be his main aim,” Sheehy said yesterday.

“He has that Grade One penalty now and it’s not really fair on him trying to give weight away, but at Cheltenham he will be meeting them all off level weights so the advantage will be back with him.

“He’s very laid-back and he takes everything in his stride. He’s an improving horse as well – he has just improved from run to run.”

Trafford Lad, who struck at the highest level at Navan in December, has been given a clean bill of health following his excellent effort on Sunday.

Sheehy added: “He’s come out of the race 100%. There’s not a bother on him and he ate up last night.

“To give 7lb to those horses, we always knew was going to be an almost impossible task, but we felt he could just be good enough to do it and unfortunately he just got beat.

“It was a little harsh really and it looked like he would get up. In another stride he probably would have.”

Trafford Lad is now as low as 14-1 with Boylesports and Coral for the Ballymore Properties on the second day of the Festival in March.

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