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Jim Culloty: Lord Windermere may run at Punchestown

Updated: Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 17:58 | Comments

Lord Windermere back in Jim Culloty's yard following his Gold Cup success
Lord Windermere back in Jim Culloty's yard following his Gold Cup success

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Jim Culloty has not totally ruled out running Lord Windermere again this season following his dramatic victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The County Cork trainer will look at races like the Punchestown Gold Cup on 30 April, though he is still inclined to give the eight-year-old a summer break.

Culloty, speaking at Lord Windermere's homecoming parade at his stables in Mallow, said: "My gut instinct is to leave him off and get him ready for Cheltenham next year.

"But having said all that, we'll discuss it with the owner and he'll probably get a few entries at Punchestown and suchlike.

"He might just go straight out into the field, though."

"I went back, sat down and watched the replay [of the Gold Cup]" - Jim Culloty, on his return from Cheltenham

Lord Windermere's surprise triumph at odds of 20-1 on Friday meant Culloty joined an elite band who have ridden and trained winners of the blue riband of steeplechasing; he was on board the mighty Best Mate for a hat-trick of victories between 2002-04.

"It's hard to differentiate between training one and riding one [Best Mate], but they're both fantastic," he said. "As a trainer you get loads of time to think about it, but as a jockey you only have five minutes not to mess it up."

Culloty sent just two horses to Cheltenham, and his other runner, Spring Heeled, set up an incredible week by winning the Kim Muir on Thursday.

"He's already achieved great things as he's won at Cheltenham,” Culloty said of Spring Heeled. "He's a younger horse but hopefully he might develop into a Gold Cup horse at some stage.

"Spring Heeled will almost definitely go to Fairyhouse or Punchestown.

"He'll be entered all over the place and we'll see where he gets his ground."

Culloty said he did not get back to his base until late on Saturday evening.

"We got home on Saturday at 9pm, had something to eat and a glass of wine before we went to bed," he said. "We didn't even get down to go down the village. We had a couple of drinks, and then I went back, sat down and watched the replay."

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