Noel Meade to make late call with Road To Riches

Road To Riches is “50-50” to take his up his engagement in the 32Red King George VI Chase, according to trainer Noel Meade.

The dual Grade One winner featured amongst just seven horses confirmed for Kempton’s Monday feature, with the Colin Tizzard-trained pair of Cue Card and Thistlecrack taking top billing.

Road To Riches was a shade disappointing on his seasonal reappearance at Gowran Park, but has since undergone an operation after suffering from ‘kissing spines’.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned nine-year-old also holds an entry in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, a race he won in 2014, on December 28.

Meade said: “I spoke to Eddie (O’Leary, Gigginstown racing manager) this morning and we said we’d leave him and make a decision later on.

“He’s going to work in the morning and we’ll see where we are after that. I’d say it’s 50-50 at this stage and we’ll probably leave it until declaration day.

“Hopefully he’ll run in one or the other. He’s been good and we’ve been happy with what he’s been doing at home.

“There’s not many in it, but there are no bad ones, are there?”

Gigginstown have a second contender in Roi Des Francs from Gordon Elliott’s yard.

Tizzard’s star duo are set to lock horns after connections of the novice Thistlecrack confirmed he will take on his esteemed stable companion and last year’s King George hero Cue Card.

Last season’s all-conquering staying hurdler Thistlecrack is unbeaten in three starts over fences, completing a hat-trick in fine style at Newbury last month.

He is set to bid for King George glory instead of taking the easier option of running in the 32Red Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, better known as the Feltham, on the same afternoon.

Cue Card looked as good as ever when winning a third Betfair Chase at Haydock last month.

Paul Nicholls has left in dual King George hero Silviniaco Conti, while last year’s Feltham winner Tea For Two has been confirmed for the race by trainer Nick Williams.

Josses Hill has been supplemented by Nicky Henderson following his comfortable victory over Tea For Two in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon at the start of the month.


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