Gold Cup preferred option for Lieutenant

Trainer Mouse Morris would prefer to run First Lieutenant in the Betfred Gold Cup rather than the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham next month.

First Lieutenant, owned by the Gigginstown House Stud, is second-favourite at around 9-2 for the Ryanair, while he is a general 12-1 chance for the blue riband prize.

However, Morris feels the eight-year-old would be better suited by the longer distance of the Gold Cup.

“My preference with the ground drying out would be the Gold Cup,” the County Tipperary handler said.

“Bryan Cooper has ridden him before and he’s available, so that is the way I would like to go with him.

“We are going to discuss it next week.”

While without a victory this year, First Lieutenant has performed with credit, finishing third in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and being runner-up to Kauto Stone in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal and to Tidal Bay in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

“He’ll stay forever, it’s just if he has enough toe for the Ryanair and I don’t think he would,” said Morris.

“He runs above himself at Cheltenham and he’s done nothing wrong this year. He’s just not got his head in front.

“He ran well at Down Royal, he ran well in the handicap at Newbury (Hennessy) and ran a blinder at Leopardstown.”

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Discover the

Install our free app today

Available on

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox