French star Easysland is enjoying a well-earned break in Ireland following his hugely impressive victory at the Cheltenham Festival.
Having made his mark on the cross-country circuit in his homeland – and when winning at Cheltenham in December – the David Cottin-trained six-year-old was snapped up by leading owner JP McManus prior to his return to Prestbury Park for the Glenfarclas Chase.
What followed was one of the most dominant performances of the entire week, with Easysland coming home 17 lengths clear of dual Grand National hero and four-time Festival winner Tiger Roll.
Rather than returning to France, Easysland headed straight for a summer holiday at McManus’ Martinstown Stud in County Limerick – and Cottin is already looking forward to seeing what his charge can achieve next season.
“He actually went straight back to the owner’s place in Ireland from Cheltenham, but I believe he is perfect,” said the former three-time champion jockey.
“I think the plan would be to go down the same route next season – going back to Cheltenham in December and March, with Pau in between.”
Such was the manner of victroy in the Cotswolds, some have suggested Easysland could be a major force over regulation fences next season, with several bookmakers pricing him up at 33-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Cottin added: “It would be a dream to run in the Gold Cup, but let’s see what happens.”
Like Cottin, McManus’ racing manager, Frank Berry, expects Easysland to stick to the cross-country discipline.
“He came back from Cheltenham in good form and did it very well on the day,” said Berry.
“We’ll probably aim for the same sort of races next year. Nothing is written in stone, but he seems to enjoy the cross-country racing, so that looks the obvious route at the moment.”