Simply Ned set for Ireland return
Last Updated: 03/01/18 12:47pm
The inaugural Coral Dublin Chase at Leopardstown on February 3 is the plan for Simply Ned following his first Grade One triumph over Christmas.
Nicky Richards' 11-year-old finally had his name up in lights in the Paddy's Rewards Club Chase after having placed three times in the same race at Leopardstown.
It was not straightforward, however, as Simply Ned was only awarded victory in the stewards' room after Min and Paul Townend denied him what looked a sure-fire winning run up the rail.
"It was a relief to finally land one with him," Richards said.
"He's been knocking on the door long enough and if you keep knocking, they'll get through at some stage.
"I don't think there's any doubt he wasn't going to win, it's just a little bit of a shame he couldn't get through and get his nose in front.
"It would have been great for the old horse, but justice was done. The Irish stewards and everybody were great on the day.
"It will be back to Ireland in February if he's OK - that's the plan."
The new race forms part of the Dublin Racing Festival and is a two-mile-one-furlong Grade Two, in which Simply Ned must carry a 3lb penalty for his Grade One win.
Espoir also set for Leopardstown
Gavin Cromwell reports Espoir D'Allen to have come out of his Christmas assignment well and the exciting juvenile hurdler could return to Leopardstown next month to tackle Grade One company.
The JP McManus-owned gelding is unbeaten in four outings over hurdles since joining Cromwell from France and has established himself as a leading Triumph Hurdle contender.
He quickened away in style to take the Grade Two Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin venue on Boxing Day, with a return to the track for the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle now on the cards.
"He's fine. He hasn't done a whole lot since he ran but he's good," said Cromwell.
"We'll definitely have a look at Leopardstown next month and he'll get an entry.
"We'll make a decision closer to the time."
Stablemate Jer's Girl is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a slight setback.
The dual Grade On-winning mare was last seen in action chasing home La Bague Au Roi in a Listed contest at Kempton in late November.
Cromwell said: "She's just met with a small bit of a setback.
"She'll probably be out for about six weeks and we've no immediate plans."