Aintree winner Unioniste could be heading to Ireland for Lexus Chase

Last Updated: 08/12/13 1:54pm

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Sky Bet

Unioniste could travel to Ireland for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas following his win at Aintree on Saturday.

The Paul Nicholls-trained five-year-old was a top staying novice last season and improved from his third in the Charlie Hall Chase to beat Wishfull Thinking by seven lengths in the Listed Betfred Goals Galore Chase over three miles and a furlong on Merseyside.

Nicholls has a good record in the Lexus, having won three of the last six runnings, and wrote in his Betfair column: "You wouldn't have known that Unioniste had a run, it is amazing.

"He is a youngster with the world at his feet, and I will consider the Lexus for him now. We also have Rocky Creek, Silviniaco Conti, Tidal Bay and Al Ferof in that. But Conti and Al Ferof have Kempton as their targets, Tidal Bay also has the option of the Welsh National, and I am not sure if Rocky Creek will be ready for Leopardstown. But nothing will be decided until I talk it through with the owners, obviously."

Nicholls was in reflective mood on the back of a tremendous Saturday for the Ditcheat operation, but at pains not to get carried away.

He said: "In horse racing, it is best not to get too despondent when things are going badly, and not to go overboard when they are going well - this game has a nasty habit of giving you a quick reality check, as we know all too well at Ditcheat.

"So, even though (Saturday) put us £75,000 or so in front in the trainers' championship, you won't get me talking about titles, I am afraid.

"The horses are running well, and the lads are riding out of their skins. And I was particularly pleased to see Ryan Mahon give Rebel Rebellion a peach of a ride to win at Aintree (Grand Sefton Chase)."

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