Tony Martin will consider races over hurdles for stable star Anibale Fly after sidestepping last week’s Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
The JP McManus-owned nine-year-old won the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas before going on to finish third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and fourth in the Grand National at Aintree.
He was well beaten on his seasonal reappearance over an inadequate two miles in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork and was expected to fare better back over three miles in the race formerly known as the Lexus Chase last Friday.
However, he was declared a non-runner on account of unsuitable ground – and Martin must now consider alternative options.
He said: “He’s still a relatively young horse, and I was worried about running him on the ground (at Leopardstown). Hopefully there are a few nice races to aim at – we are just waiting on the ground.
“You would be hoping to get to Leopardstown (for the Irish Gold Cup, February 3) and then have a crack at a few good races that he did last year. It would have been lovely to get a run at Christmas, but you are better to have him in one piece than in trouble.
“If we can find something suitable, even over hurdles, to get him out that would be great. If not, we’ll just have to gallop him after racing when the ground comes.”