Richards considering Faasel options

Faasel is set to continue his build-up to a possible Smurfit Champion Hurdle bid with an outing at Cheltenham on Saturday week.

Faasel is set to continue his build-up to a possible Smurfit Champion Hurdle bid with an outing at Cheltenham on Saturday week.

Nicky Richards’ four-year-old was beaten a short head by Admiral on his reappearance at Haydock Park earlier this month and is a general 14-1 shot for championship honours.

“He’ll be entered in the Bula and the Relkeel. We’ll see the entries and the ground and so forth, but all being well, he’ll definitely run in one of them,” Richards said.

“We were happy enough with the Haydock run. He’s come back well and it’s upwards and onwards now.”

Faasel sported a visor when a close second in the JCB Triumph Hurdle in March and when subsequently victorious in a Grade One event at Aintree, but did not wear one on his reappearance.

Richards added: “If we do put the headgear on, then I’m not quite sure we’d do it at Cheltenham just yet. There’s a fair chance that we will put the visor or blinkers back on him at some stage.

“He’s very genuine but I think it just makes him concentrate for about a minute longer than he does when he hasn’t got it on.”

Richards could also be represented at Cheltenham’s December meeting on the Friday by Lord Jack, who is set to renew rivalry with Spot Thedifference in the Sporting Index Handicap Chase.

The nine-year-old was second on his first attempt at Cheltenham’s cross-country course in the Sporting Index Chase earlier this month and Richards is hopeful of another prominent showing.

He said: “Hopefully, Lord Jack will go back down for the cross-country race and I’m hoping for another good run.

“He enjoyed it last time, there’s no doubt about that. We had him well schooled for that sort of thing and he jumped superbly.

“The plan was to take in the three cross-country races and maybe give him a run over hurdles between December and March. The plan at the moment is to come back to Cheltenham in March for the Sporting Index Handicap Chase at The Festival.”

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
IE_logo_newsletters

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