Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Hourigan eyeing Cheltenham revenge

Dancing Tornado

Michael Hourigan is not afraid of taking on Little Josh again in the December Gold Cup with Dancing Tornado.

The pair were first and second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month but the Irish raider will be 3lb better off back at Prestbury Park a week on Saturday. However, with current conditions Arctic-like, there has to be some doubt whether the meeting will take place.

"It's more than likely that Dancing Tornado (10st 11lb) will return to Cheltenham for the December Gold Cup. We were very pleased with his run in the Paddy Power and he came out of the race fine," said Hourigan.

"Tony McCoy always said that a big handicap chase at Cheltenham would be the ideal race as they would go a decent gallop. Dancing Tornado would be racing off a higher mark but we will take that on the chin, especially as we will be meeting Little Josh on better terms.

"Hopefully, the racing will be on and his jockey will be decided nearer the time. Tony rode him when he was second in last year's Kerry National whereas Adrian Heskin would be able to take 5lb off again."

Nigel Twiston-Davies claimed Little Josh's (11st 4lb) win was one of his best days in racing as his son Sam was on board but while he has his improving chaser in great heart, he doubts the meeting will be on.

"He's in tremendous form and the idea is that he'll be running at Cheltenham but I don't live far from there and it's looking doubtful to me that it will be on," he told At The Races.

"It was a great day, one of the best. It adds to the pressure when Sam rides because everybody knows it is a family thing. He has to be doubly-good for me to put him up really."

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