Disko set to get on down in JLT
Noel Meade has confirmed the JLT Novices' Chase as the likely Cheltenham Festival target for Disko following his tremendous front-running display at Leopardstown on Sunday.
D-I-S-K-O in winning action at Leopardstown.
Narrowly beaten by Jessica Harrington's Our Duke over three miles in December, Disko comfortably turned the tables over the shorter distance of two miles and five furlongs when claiming Grade One glory in the Flogas Novice Chase.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old is entered in the JLT, the RSA Chase and the National Hunt Chase at Prestbury Park next month, but is set to go for the option over the shortest distance.
"He's still only a young horse and there's no reason why he can't still improve further," said Meade.
"I was delighted with him yesterday and on that run the JLT would look the obvious race for him.
"I spoke to Michael (O'Leary) this morning and he's favouring that race, although Eddie (O'Leary) would rather go for the other race."
Meade was speaking at a press conference held at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin to promote the relationship between the Cheltenham Festival and Ireland.
Road To Riches was third in the Gold Cup two years ago and filled the same position in the Ryanair Chase last March.
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The 10-year-old was well-beaten in Sunday's Irish Gold Cup, but Meade remains keen on another crack at the blue riband.
He said: "The fall he had at Punchestown last year injured his back and he eventually required an operation.
"His run at Christmas was okay and I expected him to improve from that.
"He had a little hiccup before the race yesterday and we just didn't get a clear run. He ran okay to a point, but got very tired in the straight.
"If he's well he goes to Cheltenham. I think he'll go for the Gold Cup.
"He's also entered in the English National, so that could be an option. It will be interesting to see what weight he gets for Aintree tomorrow."
Discussing some of his other Festival plans, the trainer continued: "A Genie In Abottle runs in the four-mile race (National Hunt Chase) and Jamie Codd has agreed to ride him.
"He was beaten by Tony Martin's horse (Anibale Fly) in Naas the last day, but he's a Grade One performer and there was no disgrace in that.
"He stays very well and his jumping has been very good up to this point.
"Snow Falcon goes for the Stayers' Hurdle. He was going really well when he came down at the third-last in Newbury behind Unowhatimeanharry. It was still a fair way out and then he got beaten by Willie's mare (Vroum Vroum Mag) at Christmas.
"English racing suits him as they go a fast pace and I'm hoping he'll run well.
"Ice Cold Soul could go for either the County Hurdle or the Coral Cup. There's a bonus involved if he goes for the Coral Cup after he won the Coral Hurdle in Leopardstown the last day, so that may influence the decision."
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