Meade makes tough Road To Respect call
Trainer Noel Meade has confirmed Road to Respect (5/1 – Ryanair Chase NRNB) – fourth in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup – will probably be aimed at the Ryanair Chase this year instead.
Beaten by Native River in the Gold Cup last March, the eight-year-old made a flying start to the current campaign by winning the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in November.
But he stumbled twice on his way to finishing a luckless third when defending his crown in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over the festive period.
And, most recently, Road to Respect was narrowly beaten by Bellshill on his return to the Dublin circuit for last month’s Irish Gold Cup.
Having been as short as 12/1 for the blue riband at Prestbury Park next Friday, where Presenting Percy (7/2 – Cheltenham Gold Cup NRNB) heads the market, trainer Meade has confirmed he is now set to come back in distance for the Ryanair Chase the previous afternoon.
“That is the way we’re thinking at the moment – to run him in the Ryanair,” he said. “We’ve had a discussion about it and we just feel he just didn’t quite get home in the Gold Cup last year.
“We think the Ryanair is a better option, so that’s the plan at the moment.”
Meade revealed that stablemate Tout Est Permis is set to stay at home and miss the Festival unless something stops Road To Respect taking up his entry in the Ryanair Chase.
“Tout Est Permis probably won’t go at all, unless something happens to Road To Respect,” Meade added.
Odds subject to change.
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