Belfast Telegraph

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Caol to sidestep Cheltenham

Caolaneoin, striking runner-up in a Fairyhouse bumper on Sunday, is unlikely to be seen at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Seamus Fahey will resist the urge to run the promising five-year-old in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in March, with the Punchestown Festival two months later a more viable destination.

Caolaneoin made a hugely encouraging debut at the weekend, staying on stoutly for second behind Lovethehigherlaw, who looks one of Willie Mullins' sharper bumper horses.

"There's been huge interest in the horse - just about all the right people want him - but I'm led to believe he'll be staying in our yard, which is fantastic news." said County Down-based Fahey.

"He was pretty straight on Sunday and I was very confident he'd run a hell of a race. That said, Willie's horse was giving us 7lb and still won pretty tidily.

"The plan is for him to try to win a bumper first, and then go for the Grade One bumper at Punchestown.

"Things might change, but I don't think he'll be going to Cheltenham as he might not quite be the right horse for that race.

"We'll keep him in bumpers this year but if everything goes to plan, we'll aim him next season at one of the novice races over hurdles at Cheltenham. He's a very exciting horse."


From Belfast Telegraph