Hennessy possible for Lieutenant

Ringa Bay (no 1) ridden by Jake Hodson on the way to winning the 32red.com Handicap Chase at Huntingdon yesterday. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire

Mouse Morris will consider the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 9 for First Lieutenant following the gelding’s fine effort in the Lexus Chase.

The nine-year-old was only beaten a length and a half by Bobs Worth in the Grade One over three miles at Leopardstown on Saturday which put behind him a disappointing run in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in early November.

“The form is there and the form is rock solid. He (Bobs Worth) had beaten me twice before. He’s got beaten by a Gold Cup horse, so there’s nothing to be disappointed with,” Morris said.

“I think I made a boo boo in Down Royal, you learn from your mistakes.

“He’ll get an entry in the Hennessy, but whether he runs there or wherever, I don’t know. We’ll have a meeting about whether he goes for the Gold Cup (at Cheltenham).”

Morris was also delighted with Rule The World’s performance to finish second behind Zaidpour in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.

“He just got caught out. They probably didn’t go fast enough for him. He’ll come on again for the run,” said the County Tipperary trainer.

“I can take a positive out of it for both of them – second in two Grade Ones. Rule The World could maybe go for the Galmoy at Gowran (on January 23).”

Meanwhile useful dual-purpose performer Inis Meain could step up in trip for his next outing after a moderate jumping reappearance at Leopardstown over Christmas.

A Listed-level winner on the Flat during last year, Denis Hogan’s gelding has been rather less successful over hurdles and was sent off the 11-8 favourite for a two-mile event on December 28 but ruined his chance with a series of errors and was eventually fourth.

“His jumping was a disaster,” said Hogan.

“He had been schooling brilliantly, but he hit one flight and it was over – he went through nearly every one after that.

“I’ll have to discuss it with Barry (Connell, owner) but we could maybe look at the Pertemps qualifier at Punchestown.”

One to perform better from the stable was the veteran Luke’s Benefit, who took the Punchestown Handicap Chase for the third time in a row on New Year’s Eve.

Hogan said: “It was brilliant. I have him entered again at Naas on Sunday. I wasn’t intending on running him but there are only 11 entries and it looks a good opportunity, so I might do.”

- Hopes are high Cork’s jumps meeting will go ahead tomorrow after the course passed an inspection on yesterday morning.

Waterlogging had been the problem but the track is raceable and no further inspections are planned unless the weather deteriorates.

“They are happy enough racing can go ahead at present, but there is an unsettled forecast over the coming days, so they are going to keep an eye on it,” said Turf Club press officer Cliff Noone.

“The track is fit for racing so all we can do is monitor the situation and if there is a serious concern then we will have to do something about it, but at the moment we’re OK.”

The going is described as heavy.


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