Always doubtful for weekend

Always is unlikely to take up either of his engagements at Down Royal on Saturday because of the prospect of testing ground.

Always is unlikely to take up either of his engagements at Down Royal on Saturday because of the prospect of testing ground.

However, if Noel Meade’s charge does turn up at the Ulster track it will be for the feature James Nicholson Wine Merchant Champion Chase over three miles.

The six-year-old is also in the Killultagh Properties Ltd Chase, but Meade will be represented in that contest by Watson Lake.

On his latest start, Always sprang a surprise as outsider of three when beating Strong Project and Ansar in Grade Two contest at Gowran Park four weeks ago.

“It’s doubtful he’ll run on Saturday after all the rain we’ve had, but if he does go it will be in the big one. The ground could be bottomless,” said Meade.

“If he doesn’t run at Down Royal, there’s a race at Naas the following weekend he’d go for instead. It’s not quite as competitive as Saturday.”

The Navan trainer has no concerns about the ground for Watson Lake, who defeated Accordion Etoile on soft going at Limerick last month.

“Watson Lake definitely runs on Saturday. He loves soft ground,” he added.

Meade reported Wild Passion had come out of his debut success over fences at Punchestown in great form.

“He’s perfect. I’d like to run him in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse early next month. He may run before then but I’d say that was doubtful at this stage,” concluded Meade.

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