O'Leary eyeing Gold pot with Riches
Road To Riches is building up in his preparation for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup and will spearhead a powerful team for Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud.
Having won the blue riband event with War Of Attrition in 2006, the team are keen to hit the target again having gone so close with Sir Des Champs a couple of years ago and Noel Meade's charge has progressed through the ranks this season to be second favourite for the big race.
Eddie O'Leary, Gigginstown's racing manager, told the Irish Times: "The Gold Cup is everyone's Holy Grail and it is definitely very significant for us."
He went on: "The horse (Road To Riches) has been on a break since the Lexus. The key to him looks to be keeping him fresh. Even though he's been going all year, he has been kept fresh the whole time, and is starting to build up again now."
Don Cossack has been a star for Gordon Elliott this term and is bound for the Ryanair Chase but could switch to the Gold Cup should anything happen to Road To Riches.
"The plan if all goes well is that Don Cossack would go for the Ryanair. But there's an awful long way to go to Cheltenham yet. We're taking nothing for granted and it could depend on nothing happening to the other fella," said O'Leary.
Don Poli is well fancied for both the RSA Chase and the four-miler and could run at Leopardstown next weekend, with Drinmore winner Valseur Lido also in the frame.
"I would presume one of them will run in that and that will be a call for Willie (Mullins.) It's too early to say who will run in what race at Cheltenham. Don Poli is favourite for the two races but we also have Wounded Warrior and Thunder And Roses as options for the four-mile," said O'Leary.
Mullins also faces some difficult choices with his novice hurdlers with Tell Us More, Outlander and McKinley all in the mix for Gigginstown.
"Willie will decide too if Tell Us More runs in the Deloitte at Leopardstown or goes straight for the Festival. We also have Sub Lieutenant and Identity Thief in the Deloitte as well so we will see. But I would imagine the Neptune is the race for Tell Us More at the Festival if he gets there."
Elliott's No More Heroes was the big Gigginstown hope for the Albert Bartlett but was well beaten on Sunday behind Outlander, although a reason for that has emerged.
"He scoped rotten after the race so thankfully we have a reason for that performance," added O'Leary.
"He never travelled and never jumped a hurdle but now we know why so we hope the Bartlett is still on for him."