Castlegrace Paddy is likely to return to Leopardstown for the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase following his creditable recent effort at the track.
The eight-year-old made a mightily impressive start to his campaign when running out a wide-margin winner of the Hilly Way Chase at Cork – albeit profiting from the early exit of hot favourite Great Field.
He returned to Grade One level in the Paddy’s Rewards Club “Sugar Paddy” Chase at Leopardstown and was far from disgraced in finishing fourth – beaten just five and a half lengths – on ground that was deemed quicker than ideal by his trainer Pat Fahy.
“I was delighted with him, to be honest,” said Fahy.
“The ground was perfectly safe, but it probably wasn’t completely suitable. Davy (Russell) felt he wasn’t really letting fly at his fences like he can.
“He jumped well to stay with those good horses, but he was just minding himself a bit at the same time.
“I was very happy with how he finished the race – his best part of the race was the last 50 yards.”
Fahy therefore remains optimistic about a likely rematch.
“We’ve only five lengths to make up on the best two-miler in Ireland (Footpad), and that might be achievable on softer ground,” he said.
“He’s come out of the race 100 per cent, and the plan is to go back to Leopardstown for the Dublin Racing Festival at the start of February – so long as the ground is suitable.
“He’s a horse with very few runs under his belt, and we need to get the experience into him.”