Terence O’Brien is considering a trip to Aintree for Articulum following his fine effort to finish third in the Arkle Trophy at last week’s Cheltenham Festival.
Articulum, who had opened his account over fences in impressive style at Navan in January, stepped up to Grade One level at Prestbury Park and justified his trainer’s faith by finishing third behind Duc Des Genievres.
O’Brien reports his stable star to have returned to Ireland in rude health – and the Manifesto Novices’ Chase on April 4, day one of the Grand National meeting, is his next likely target.
“He came home 100 per cent, and we were delighted with the way he ran,” said O’Brien.
“Any time you get into the winner’s enclosure in Cheltenham is brilliant for a small yard like ours, and the owners had a great day out.
“I suppose we were fortunate it wasn’t a vintage Arkle. A few horses didn’t make it to the race, and a few fell by the wayside on the day, but you need that bit of luck sometimes.
“He’s come out of the race so well I’m thinking we might go to Aintree with him for the two-and-a-half-mile novice chase. The owners are based in England, and I think the flat track there would suit him.”
The County Cork trainer has yet to make a firm decision on whether Articulum will run once or possibly twice more in his novice campaign.
“He’s a nine-year-old now, and if we didn’t go to Aintree he’d probably only have one more run this season at Punchestown,” added O’Brien.
“The other option is the race in Fairyhouse (Ryanair Gold Cup) on Easter Sunday. But that is only about 10 days before Punchestown, so that’s probably too close.
“We’ll see how we go, but he’ll get an entry in Aintree, and we’ll go from there.”