Mouse Morris expects Alpha Des Obeaux to raise his game when he encounters better ground in the spring after filling the runner-up spot for the sixth time in eight starts at Leopardstown.
The six-year-old stepped back up to three miles in the Christmas Hurdle and had to make do with minor honours once more as fellow Gigginstown-owned runner Prince Of Scars caused an upset.
Morris said: “He ran well. He was fine until your man (Snow Falcon) fell and after that he just ran very green.
“He doesn’t have many races under his belt, and that showed when he was left in front.
“We’ll give him another run before the spring in something like the Galmoy Hurdle in Gowran or the Boyne Hurdle in Navan.
“You’d be hoping he’ll be in the mix somewhere when he gets on better ground.
“There’s the World Hurdle at Cheltenham and Liverpool (Aintree) after that, so we’ll see.”
Stablemate Rule The World also finished second over the Christmas period, when beaten nine lengths by the impressive No More Heroes in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase.
Rule The World has filled the runner-up berth seven times over fences, and could now drop in class as he seeks a first victory over larger obstacles.
“I wasn’t disappointed one bit with him,” said Morris.
“He was beaten by a proper horse on the day.
“I’d say he (Rule The World) is the best maiden (chaser) in the country and we might just try and win a (lesser) race with him now to put a smile on his face.”
Meanwhile Martello Tower is set to tackle the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran later this month after pleasing connections on his return to action at Leopardstown.
The Mags Mullins-trained eight-year-old was making his first start of the season when finishing third to Prince Of Scars in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle.
It was his first run since a hard-fought victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
“We were delighted with the Leopardstown run as he would have needed it,” said Mullins.
“We have to see whether he’s good enough in that open class now.
“He’ll go to Gowran for the Galmoy Hurdle, all being well.”
The stanjames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock con January 23 has emerged as the next target for Peace And Co.
Nicky Henderson’s Triumph Hurdle winner has questions to answer after his seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham last month went anything but to plan.
He was seen as the main threat to Faugheen’s Champion Hurdle crown in March but pulled ferociously on his return in the International Hurdle and ended up trailing in last of six behind Old Guard, losing his unbeaten record in the process.
Peace And Co returned with a few minor issues, but is now ready to visit the track again.
Anthony Bromley, racing manager for Peace And Co’s owners, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, said: “Peace And Co is moving well again.
“He should be going to the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
“That’s the plan we have for him at the moment and he should get to Haydock.”
With parts of the track saturated, leading to some false patches of ground, officials at the Somerset moved swiftly to call off the card.
Ten millimetres of overnight rain left the situation untenable yesterday.
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