Philip Dempsey is hoping Derrinross will be back in action next season after ruling him out for the current campaign.
The lightly-raced gelding was a smart staying novice hurdler last term, winning his first two starts before contesting the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
He was prominent for most of the race, eventually finishing a creditable sixth to Minella Indo, despite the ground not being soft enough for him, but has been absent since.
“He won’t run this season. We weren’t happy with him after Cheltenham and we decided to leave him alone and draw stumps with him for the season with the ground,” said Dempsey.
“He’s very ground dependent. Cheltenham was a bit quick for him and we paid the price.
“He’s a very fragile horse and he’s a very hard horse to train. He’s not had many runs. Hopefully we’ll get him back.
“Ger Kelly (consultant equine surgeon) said we’re better off giving him the season off so we’re going to do that.”
Should Dempsey get Derrinross back on the track, the nine-year-old will try his hand at novice chasing.
“He goes on the horse walker and when the weather gets a bit kinder, he’ll go out. Hopefully we’ll get a run out of him next season,” said the County Kildare handler.
“The plan was to go over fences. He has a fair engine.”