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Jim Culloty keen on Sandown run for Spring Heeled

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 14:42 | Comments

Spring Heeled should relish the likely good ground at Sandown on Saturday
Spring Heeled should relish the likely good ground at Sandown on Saturday

Jim Culloty is planning to let Spring Heeled line up in Saturday's bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown - as long as he does not have to carry top-weight.

The seven-year-old claimed the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last month's Festival at Prestbury Park and connections have considered a number of options since.

Monday's Irish Grand National was a potential target, as was the Growise Champion Novice Chase at the upcoming Punchestown Festival, but Culloty has decided to bring his charge back to Britain for this weekend's feature meeting.

While the bet365 Gold Cup, formerly known as the Whitbread, is his preferred option, there is a chance he could switch to the bet365 Oaksey Chase on the same card if the two horses currently above him in the weights do not line up.

Culloty said: "Provided he doesn't go up in the weights too much, we're intending to run him in the Whitbread.

"He's had loads of options and we've been a little bit in between minds, but I was always favouring the Whitbread as long as he wasn't going to end up top-weight.

"I'm not sure if Venetia Williams is going to run her horse (Houblon Des Obeaux) who is top-weight at the moment, but I believe Paul Nicholls' horse (Bury Parade) is an intended runner.

"If he (Bury Parade) ends up with top-weight, that will take us up to 11st 5lb and we'd be happy to take our chance with that.

"The horse is very well, I'm very happy with him and he has travelled over to Sandown today.

"If he did end up with top-weight in the Whitbread, we might change plan and run him in the other race. That's why I entered him.

"It wouldn't have been good preparation for running at Punchestown if we travelled over to Sandown and didn't run, so he is an intended runner at Sandown in one of the races."

When contacted, Williams said no decision had been made on the participation of Houblon Des Obeaux.

The Herefordshire handler also has Summery Justice, Rigadin De Beauchene and Emperor's Choice entered and said: "The ground is quite relevant to most of them."

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