Mossey Joe Cheltenham appearance 'up in the air'

Updated: Saturday, 01 Feb 2014 12:12

A potential Cheltenham Festival appearance is still "up in the air" for Enda Bolger's expensive new recruit Mossey Joe.

The 11-year-old racked up four consecutive victories in the hunter chase division in the first half of 2013, completing his four-timer with a dominant display in the Champion Hunters' Chase at Stratford in June.

A dispute between his former owners led to Mossey Joe going to public auction and despite his advancing years, he was snapped up for £160,000 at Cheltenham's Brightwells Sale last week on behalf of leading owner Barry Connell.

Connell swiftly sent the former Declan McNamara inmate to the care of Bolger.

While Cheltenham's Foxhunter Chase is a potential target, the County Limerick trainer insists it is too early to say that race is definitely on the agenda.

"We're just giving him a week to settle in, but he's a fine, big horse,” Bolger said. "He has some great hunter chaser form and I only hope I can do as good a job with him as his previous trainer did.

"It will be a little bit down the road before he runs as he hasn't run since last June and he's been back and forth to the sales and what have you.

"There are no definite plans for him as far as Cheltenham goes. Things are just a little bit up in the air at the moment."

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"I love this horse and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year with him" - Enda Bolger

Bolger is very much looking forward to a tilt at the Foxhunter Chase with the JP McManus-owned On The Fringe.

The nine-year-old finished fourth when joint-favourite for the race three years ago and although injury has since interrupted his progress, he appeared better than ever when beating Tammys Hill at Down Royal in December.

"It's all systems go for him. He'll run at Leopardstown on Sunday week and then go for the Foxhunter in Cheltenham, all being well," said Bolger.

"He's been in good shape since Christmas. He was off for a long time because he cracked a hind bone in his leg, but he's 110 per cent at the moment.

"I love this horse and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year with him."

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