Deloitte key to Tullow Tank’s Cheltenham target

Owner Barry Connell expects to find out which race The Tullow Tank will run in at Cheltenham after his next outing in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle on February 9 at Leopardstown.

The six-year-old has already won the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown and will bid for a Grade One hat-trick next month.

Philip Fenton’s charge has done all his racing under Rules over the minimum distance but will step up to two and a quarter miles for his next race.

“He seems to be taking his racing very well and he’s going to the Deloitte at Leopardstown on Hennessy day,” Connell told At The Races.

“He seems to be improving with each run so we’re looking forward to taking on whatever Willie (Mullins) throws at us in the next Grade One.

“He’s not short of pace and you’d imagine a true-run two-mile race would be ideal. It will be interesting to see when he goes up to two and a quarter in the Deloitte, that will tell us a bit more.

“At Cheltenham he could go over two or two and a half.

“He’s probably got a similar style of running to Bobs Worth, you wouldn’t notice him in the race but just coming to the last the turbo kicks in and away he goes.”

Meanwhile, Warwick winner Glens Melody is unlikely to take on esteemed stable companion Quevega in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, according to Willie Mullins.

Glens Melody has never finished outside the first three in 13 career starts, winning on nine occasions and also chasing home another top-class stablemate in Annie Power at Fairyhouse last spring.

She disappointed when favourite for the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, but got back on the winning trail in Listed company at the weekend.

However, Mullins feels the deep terrain she encountered is essential if she is to bring her best form to the table, effectively ruling her out of a clash with five-times Festival winner Quevega.

“David (Casey) gave her a lovely ride. She was very free and he just took her away from the field and tried to settle her,” said Mullins.

“When he saw his chance, he took it up (the running) and put the race to bed. That was good for the mare and good for David.

“I’m not sure she’s good enough to go to Cheltenham. We brought her over to Cheltenham the last day and she was disappointing. The ground was probably too good for her there.

“The ground was nice and soft in Warwick and that is probably the key to her when she steps up in class.

“She probably needs a good dig in the ground and I’ll be trying to get as much as I can out of her before the ground dries up in the spring.”


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