Aso set for a break ahead of Ryanair run

Venetia Williams targeting Cheltenham Festival feature.

  • Wednesday 08 January
  • News
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Venetia Williams plans to give Aso a short break ahead of attempting to make it third time lucky in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The 10-year-old will bid to get his career back on track in the two-mile-five-furlong Grade One contest, in which he finished second behind Frodon last year and third in 2017.

Although Aso was last of four finishers over three miles in the King George at Kempton, the Herefordshire handler reports her stable star to have taken the race well.

Williams said: “I was happy enough with what Aso did in the King George. The Ryanair has closed and he is in that and we are likely to work back from that.

“There is no final decision yet, but there is a fair chance he won’t run before that.

“He didn’t really feel any exertions after the King George as he takes his racing very well.”

Stablemate Fanion D’Estruval could take his next step towards a tilt at the Arkle in the Kingmaker at Warwick on February 8, after running well in defeat at the same level in the Wayward Lad at Kempton over Christmas.

Williams said: “I was delighted with Fanion D’Estruval at Kempton. It was a fiercely fast-run race and was about five seconds faster than the Desert Orchid Chase and he was beaten less than five lengths by the winner.

“The handicapper put him up the best part of a stone for his Newbury win, but he felt his Kempton performance was better than anticipated by raising him another 5lb since.

“Going to the Cotswolds in March is the main aim. I haven’t quite decided where we are going next, but the Kingmaker is an obvious race.”

Aso set for a break ahead of Ryanair run
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