Sweeney considering the possibilities for Churchstonewarrior
Jonathan Sweeney could send Churchstonewarrior to the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham following his creditable runner-up in Grade One company over Christmas.
The lightly-raced eight-year-old has had just three starts over fences and he has been placed second on each occasion.
Upped to three miles at Leopardstown in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase, Aidan Coleman’s mount jumped well throughout, although was no match for the winner, the Willie Mullins-trained Gaillard Du Mesnil, who scored by seven and a half lengths and now heads the market for the National Hunt Chase on March 14.
Sweeney said: “We were very happy with the run – he ran well. You couldn’t say he isn’t a Grade One horse. The winner has had an awful lot of experience.
“I suppose we had a lot of luck on the day, but that’s racing.”
There are no firm plans for the son of Mahler, although a possible return to Leopardstown for the Ladbrokes Novice Chase on February 5 is under consideration by the County Cork handler.
He might get an entry in the Brown Advisory, although we'd probably head to the National Hunt Chase more than the other option.
“He might go back to Leopardstown for the Dublin Festival. He’ll go back in trip – there is a two-mile-five-furlong race – but there are a few other options which we need to discuss.
“He came out of the race the last day well. He is not entered at Cheltenham yet, but there is a possibility he will go there. He might get an entry in the Brown Advisory, although we’d probably head to the National Hunt Chase more than the other option.
“We’ll see what the owners say. There are no hard and fast plans at the moment. We will try to progress from that.”
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