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Saturday 16
February

Horse Racing

Richards guarded on Simply Ned's Cheltenham chances

1st February 2019, 11:39 by Gareth Freeman

Nicky Richards says Cheltenham remains an option for Simply Ned although he may swerve the Festival with his star top two-mile chaser.

The 12-year-old is set to contest the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown on Saturday and trainer Richards says he will make a decision on Cheltenham after the Dublin Festival outing.

If Simply Ned does head to Prestbury Park, the Champion Chase would be the target, where he would take on Nicky Henderson's odds-on favourite Altior.

“He’s just the sort of horse who seems to keep his form very well in the first half of the season," said Richards, as reported by the Yorkshire Post.

"Even in his younger days, his form seemed to tail off in the second half and I’m not ruling out Cheltenham, but we’ll see how he is after Saturday, get that out of the way and take it from there.

“There’s basically only one race for him at Cheltenham and it’s a very stiff ask taking on Altior who is as good as we’ve seen for a very long time. However, a lot of the other big guns are looking for an escape route by not taking him on in the Ryanair Chase.”

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.

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