Smith considering options with upwardly-mobile Ronald Pump

Big-race targets on the agenda.

  • Wednesday 20 November
  • News
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Ronald Pump could be supplemented for the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on December 1.

Matthew Smith’s six-year-old improved rapidly over hurdles last season, progressing from a mark of 102 to 145.

He made his chasing debut at Fairyhouse earlier this month, and jumped like an old hand on his way to an eight-length win.

He holds an entry at Gowran on Saturday – but Smith says he is unlikely to take that up, with Fairyhouse’s Winter Festival on his mind.

“I don’t think he’ll go to Gowran, we put him in to have a look as there are so few options, but all the others have a lot more experience than him,” said Smith.

“We have the option of supplementing for the Drinmore, but there aren’t many options between now and Christmas to be honest.

“We could take him over the water, but even then there aren’t many to choose from. There’s a Grade Two at Newbury next week, but looking at the last few winners – Thistlecrack, Native River, horses like that – it will be hot.

“There is no other option than to go into the top races, so we might be looking at the Drinmore if we want to run him before the Grade One at Christmas.”

He added: “It wasn’t a surprise the way he won, he’d progressed over hurdles and was rated 145, I expected him to go well.

“He’s won over two and a half and three miles and won on heavy and good ground, so he’s versatile. If he went back to two and a half now he’d probably want soft ground.

“He matured a lot last year, he’s grown up and if he can progress a bit more, he’s got a bright future.

“I’ll talk to his owners and we’ll see if we supplement.”

Smith considering options with upwardly-mobile Ronald Pump
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