Connections to make late call on Instalment

A late decision will be made on Last Instalment’s participation in today’s Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Connections to make late call on Instalment

The nine-year-old was an impressive winner of the Irish Hennessy after returning from nearly two years off, but the leading Irish chance must have some give in the ground if he is to run today.

As a result connections will wait until 11.30am before making a definite decision.

“They watered on Wednesday night and the fog on Thursday morning will all help keep the moisture in,” said trainer Philip Fenton.

“We are keen to run, we want to run, but we’ll do what is best for the horse. I imagine we’ll make a decision around 11.30am on Friday.”

Brian O’Connell, who did the steering in the Hennessy, again gets the leg-up after intended rider Bryan Cooper suffered a broken leg on Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate for Bryan Cooper that he can’t ride him, but the other Brian knows him even better, he’s had a long association with him,” Fenton said.

First Lieutenant chased home Bobs Worth in the Lexus, beaten just a length and a half.

Mouse Morris, who trained Ireland’s last Gold Cup winner when War Of Attrition won the 2006 renewal, believes that run gives his charge solid place claims as he tackles the Gold Cup trip for the first time having finished second in the Ryanair at the 2013 Festival.

Connections opted to sidestep that two-mile-five-furlong heat this term, with Morris eager to test his runner in the main event.

He said: “He has some good form in the book on his day and if Bobs Worth has a chance, we have an each-way chance.

“He’s well, he’s travelled over and all is A1 with him. It will be nice to see some good ground there.

“The trip won’t be a problem — that’s not a question mark in my mind.

“It might be he’s not quite good enough, but he deserves to have a crack at the race.”

Lyreen Legend was just touched off by Lord Windermere in the RSA Chase 12 months ago and his trainer Dessie Hughes could do with a change of luck after the fatal fall of Our Conor in the Champion Hurdle.

Hughes said: “He’s only had two runs for one reason and another.

“He was very near the other horses and I think he’s entitled to take his chance.

“There’s not a lot between five or six of them so hopefully we’ll be in the mix.”

Lord Windermere has been disappointing this season but trainer Jim Culloty is hoping a return to Cheltenham sparks him back to life.

“I am happy with Lord Windermere and he likes Cheltenham,” said Culloty.

“I wish I was going to Cheltenham with a better run under his belt but for various reasons things have just not gone right for him this season.

“There is nothing wrong with him and he is going to Cheltenham in good old form.

“He likes Cheltenham and we will see how we get on. The perfect ground for him would be what he encountered last year, which is the easy side of good. It might be a bit faster than ideal for him but as long as it is not proper quick he will be running.”

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