Gilgamboa on course for Down Royal

Grand National fourth Gilgamboa could make his seasonal debut in the Champion Chase at Down Royal on November 5 as long as the ground is suitable.

Gilgamboa (far side): Ready to make his return to action.

Trainer Enda Bolger reports the JP McManus-trained eight-year-old to have benefited from his summer break and is looking forward to the new campaign.

A Grade One novice chase winner in April 2015, Gilgamboa did not get his head in front last term but took on the best in such races as the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase, the Irish Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase.

He signed off for the season with an admirable fourth in the world-famous marathon at Aintree in the spring.

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"He's entered in Down Royal for the James Nicholson race," said Bolger.

"At the moment that's the plan. I'd say we'll kick-off with him there, but it would depend on the ground. If it's anywhere on the quick side he won't run.

"He looks well and has done well over the summer. It's just that he's rated in the high 150s, so he's limited as to where he can go. He's a lovely horse to have and we're looking forward to the winter."

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Should Gilgamboa turn up at Down Royal, then he might cross swords with The Last Samuri, who finished two places ahead of him at Aintree.

"He's pencilled in for there. All reports from Kim (Bailey, trainer) are good," Jason Maguire, racing manager to owners Paul and Clare Rooney, told Racing UK.

"He'll do a couple of serious bits of work. You hope every year a horse improves a small bit, which he needs to if he is to be a Grade One horse, but he seems to be doing everything right.

"The National will be his main target again. Touch wood, we get him there in one piece."

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