Mouse Morris is delighted with how First Lieutenant’s preparation is going as he prepares to bid for his second Cheltenham Festival triumph next month.
The seven-year-old landed what has turned out to be a red-hot renewal of the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at Prestbury Park last March, leaving his trainer excited about what his gelding could achieve over fences.
His novice chase season has not gone exactly to plan, but his fine second behind Last Instalment at Leopardstown over Christmas was a big step forward and he will return to Cheltenham a fresh horse.
“He’s on track for Cheltenham, as long as we don’t have any hiccups between now and then,” said Morris.
“He had one or two little back problems early in the season, when we were putting it down to the ground and it wasn’t.
“But he jumped much better in Leopardstown and I’m very happy with him at the moment.”