Shark angling for Ryanair Chase glory

Updated: Thursday, 10 Jan 2013 15:03

Shark Hanlon has the Ryanair Chase as his priority for Hidden Cyclone as the County Carlow trainer's star appeared as one of the 39 entries for the Cheltenham Festival feature on 14 March.

They include last year's winner Riverside Theatre and two-time Ryanair hero Albertas Run, who was second a season ago.

A clutch of horses with engagements in the other key races at the meeting are also entered, including Flemenstar, Sir Des Champs, Sizing Europe and First Lieutenant.

Hidden Cyclone took on three of those names on his most recent appearance in the Lexus Chase, where he made most of the running but weakened to finish eighth.

He had won his two prior starts in smaller chases and Hanlon believes the intermediate trip of the Ryanair will be more appropriate.

"We are looking at the Ryanair Chase with Hidden Cylone because I felt he didn't stay three miles at Leopardstown the last day," he said.

"He came out of the Lexus really well but he just got too excited before the race and pulled too hard during it.

"I think going a stride quicker over two and a half will suit him a lot better.

"He goes for the Leopardstown Handicap Chase first and from there he will go for the Ryanair.

"I don't think the track at Cheltenham will hold any fears for him but my only concern would be if the ground came up real quick."

Colin Tizzard could be represented by impressive Haldon Gold Cup scorer Cue Card, while Philip Hobbs has entered Menorah, who won the rearranged Peterborough Chase at Kempton Park over Christmas.

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