Down Royal option for Riches

Noel Meade’s Galway Plate hero Road To Riches is set to be seen next at Down Royal in November.

Down Royal option for Riches

The seven-year-old put up a terrific performance to win the famous handicap at Ballybrit, being prominent from the off and dominating after leading before the fourth fence.

Exciting targets are likely to be in store in the new season for the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding, and he has two options in Northern Ireland.

Meade said: “We left him out for a month and the plan is to go the north (Down Royal) for either the James Nicholson or the second-season novice race (Grade Two Skymas Chase) on November 1. There wasn’t a lot of options for him before as he would have had top-weight in the Kerry National. He’s in good form.”

Meanwhile, connections of Lightning Thunder have decided to put the dual 1000 Guineas runner-up away for the season and bring her back for a four-year-old campaign.

Second to Miss France at Newmarket and to Marvellous at the Curragh, trainer Olly Stevens felt the three-year-old was showing the effects of a tough campaign when running below form at Haydock on her latest start in a Listed race.

One of the three early-closing race entries Lightning Thunder is set to miss is the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 13.

“She’s not going to Leopardstown and we’ve put her away for a bit of a break,” said Stevens. “She’s absolutely fine. We had to be very hard on her to get to the Guineas.

“She’s just having a good break and hopefully we’ll have a good time with her next year. She’s a big strong filly and she should go on again and improve into her four-year-old year.”

“Sometimes it’s one of the hardest decisions to make. She’s fit and well and healthy but she looked tired at Haydock. It was a difficult decision to make but I think it’s the best one in the long run for a talented filly.

“We’ll get her back in training and make a decision then. “We’ll campaign her around seven furlongs and a mile.

“We’ll start her off by trying to tick off the bold black box and then there are nice races like the Duke of Cambridge at Ascot.”

Meanwhile, Berkshire could be ready to resume his racing career at Goodwood later this month after recovering from surgery.

Always regarded as an exciting sort by trainer Paul Cole, the Mount Nelson colt won the Chesham Stakes and the Royal Lodge as a two-year-old and was to be prepared for a Classic campaign.

Cole’s son and assistant, Oliver, said: “Jim Crowley rode him on Saturday and he seems in good form.

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