War on course for Durkan test

Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition is on course to make his third start of the campaign in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown next Sunday.

Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition is on course to make his third start of the campaign in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown next Sunday.

The Mouse Morris-trained seven-year-old scored on his debut at the same track in October, but suffered a shock reverse when gunned down late on by nine-times Grade One winner Beef Or Salmon last month.

No excuses were put forward for his defeat that day and Morris is happy with his condition ahead of next weekend’s race, in which he could only finish fifth 12 months ago.

“So far, so good and the plan is to run him next weekend over two and a half miles at Punchestown,” said Morris.

“I’m taking it one race at a time, but all being well he will go for the Lexus Chase at Christmas, and I am hoping the ground won’t be too soft.

“The King George was a consideration, but I am not keen on travelling him, but he may come across for it next year.

“After Christmas we will give him the same break as last year and bring him back for Cheltenham.”

War Of Attrition had dominated the Gold Cup market since his two-and-a-half-length triumph over Hedgehunter in March, and despite the presence of Kauto Star still heads the betting as the 7-2 joint-favourite with Coral.

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