Two of Ireland’s best novice chasers could clash at Naas on Sunday as Bog Warrior and Flemenstar have been entered in the Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase.
As both horses need soft ground to be seen at their best, Cheltenham has never seriously been on their radar this season.
Tony Martin has confirmed Bog Warrior an intended runner in the Grade Three at Naas, meaning he will not take up any of his three options at the Festival.
Along with the two big guns, the likes of Rathlin, who, like Bog Warrior, represents Gigginstown House Stud, Raptor and Nicky Henderson’s Prince Of Pirates are all possibles.
“He’s an intended runner,” Martin said of Bog Warrior.
“I’m not sure what the plan is with Rathlin, and if he runs we’ll have to see what Davy (Russell) decides to ride.
“I’m happy with my lad. It was always going to be too quick at Cheltenham so we decided to have a look at this instead.
“I’m not looking beyond Sunday with him.
“Whether he’ll have his ground at Punchestown or Fairyhouse is not really a concern – I’m only bothered about Sunday and I hope it’s soft enough.”
The ground at Naas is currently described as soft, yielding to soft in places.
Peter Casey is excited about again taking on Bog Warrior with Flemenstar.
Having finished behind that rival at Navan last November, Flemenstar has subsequently won three on the bounce, including the Irish Arkle by 19 lengths.
“We’re not worried about Bog Warrior,” said Casey.
“He’s been to the Curragh this morning and everything went fine. (Andrew) Lynch rode him and he was happy.
“This morning he worked grand. I was a bit worried that he’d been off for a long time and had a bit of a cough, but he was perfect.”
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