Harty mulls options for Island
Trainer Eddie Harty is keen to let the dust settle on Coney Island's tremendous victory in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday before committing to future targets.
Mark Walsh riding Coney Island to victory in the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse
Narrowly beaten by Bellshill in a Grade One novice hurdle at last season's Punchestown Festival, the five-year-old was a beaten favourite on his chasing debut at Punchestown last month.
However, he returned to the highest level over the weekend and ran out an authoritative winner to leave connections mulling over the next plan of attack.
Harty said: "Everything is good and we're obviously delighted with him.
"You always go into these races hopeful, but you don't really expect it. It was a lovely performance.
"We have a number of options with him now and at the moment we haven't made any definite plans. We'll just let the dust settle and we're in no rush.
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"There's the three-mile race in Leopardstown over Christmas (Neville Hotels Novice Chase) or we could wait for the two-mile-five race there in early February (Flogas Novice Chase).
"He looked very effective over the two-and-a-half the other day and we know he stays three miles, so we have options, which is nice.
"He's only a five-year-old, so you wouldn't want to run him every week. He's had two quick runs and we'll do right by the horse.
"Realistically you'd have been happy if he was third or fourth on Sunday, so to see him win like he did was great."
Coney Island was Harty's first Grade One winner since Captain Cee Bee, a previous winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, landed the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown over six and a half years ago.
"It's nice to get on the board again. Captain Cee Bee was placed in a few Grade Ones in the meantime as well," said the Curragh-based trainer.
"We have a few options for this horse, which is a nice problem to have.
"We could have run the other day and found out he wasn't as good as we hoped, but it was the opposite and those are the days you cherish."
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