McConnell mulling Festival options for Thurles victor Go Another One

Cheltenham and Aintree on the radar for Grade Three winner

  • Wednesday 27 February
  • News
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Go Another One’s victory in the Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles last week has left trainer John McConnell facing some tough choices.

McConnell needs to decide which of the three Cheltenham Festival entries he takes up – if any – as Aintree is another option to consider.

“We haven’t thought about it too much,” said McConnell.

“His options are stepping up to three miles for the Albert Bartlett or running him in a handicap in the Martin Pipe or Coral Cup – he’d probably get into them now.

“He’d have to improve a little to be competitive in an Albert Bartlett, but there’s a possibility that going over three miles would bring that out of him.

“To be honest we’re not fixated with Cheltenham, we may end up going to Aintree with him.

“He’s got a turn of foot so there’s a chance Aintree could suit him better, and some of the Irish guys don’t go over as much as they are battling for the title at home, so it’s not as competitive. But then Cheltenham is Cheltenham.

“I’ll discuss it with the owner.”

Similar discussions will take place with the owner of Hannon, who was narrowly beaten in a Grade Two at the weekend.

“He was a shade unlucky. David (Noonan) dropped his stick and he was beaten a nose so it’s fine margins, but we were delighted with how he ran,” said McConnell.

“He proved he’s up to that level, but we always felt he was, he just had to prove it.

“The Irish handicapper put him up a stone, so I think he’ll have around 138 or 139 in the UK.

“We need to decide whether to go for the cavalry charge in the Fred Winter or take on the likes of Sir Erec in the Triumph or we might end up at Aintree with him.

“It’s nice thinking about these things rather than a 60-65 at Dundalk!”

McConnell mulling Festival options for Thurles victor Go Another One
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