Don Cossack pencilled in for February return

Don Cossack: not sighted on track since winning Gold Cup last season

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( Don Cossack pencilled in for February return By Tony O'Hehir 7:11AM 19 DEC 2016

GOLD CUP hero Don Cossack continues to make a steady recovery from the leg injury he suffered in April and could return to action in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park in February.

The nine-year-old's trainer Gordon Elliott said on Sunday: "Don Cossack has been coming along nicely over the past few months. In addition to cantering away, he swims twice a day and it's so far so good with him.

"It's still a case of taking one day at a time, but if things continue to go well the plan will be to give him one run before the Gold Cup and it's quite possible he could start back in the Red Mills Chase."

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Outlining his plans for the busy Christmas period, Elliott said: "Outlander came out of his run in the John Durkan Memorial well and could line up for the Lexus Chase, while Empire Of Dirt, who won the Troytown Chase last month, is also a Lexus possible, although we might wait and give him a run over hurdles before the Grand National.

"Don Poli is going well at home and is in better form than when he was pulled up at Down Royal last month when the cheekpieces might not have suited him. He won the Lexus last year and we're looking at running him in it again."

Limerick on King's radar

Diamond King, winner of the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in March and who scored on his debut over fences at Galway before finishing only fifth in the Grade 1 Drinmore Chase at Fairyhouse, is likely to miss Leopardstown in favour of a trip to Limerick.

Elliott said: "He'll probably head for the Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Chase at Limerick on December 26."

The trainer indicated that Apple's Jade, winner of the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse this month, is likely to miss out on the Christmas action.

He said: "She had three races in the space of four weeks, so we'll wait a bit longer before running her again. She'll probably have one run before Cheltenham and then we'll start thinking about which of the festival races she'll go for."

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