Best to come for Last Instalment


Last Instalment might have become something of a “forgotten horse” among Gigginstown Stud’s powerful list of potential Cheltenham Gold Cup candidates but steeplechasing’s blue-riband remains on his radar.

Unbeaten in four starts over fences last season, including the Grade One pair of the Fort Leney and the Dr PJ Moriarty at Leopardstown, Philip Fenton’s young star sustained injuries to his two tendons in the latter event and is slowly making his way back to full fitness.

With Sir Des Champs topping the Gold Cup betting, and Gigginstown’s other star names First Lieutenant and Quito De La Roque having already started this term, Last Instalment’s progress has been somewhat under the radar.

However he remains as low as 14-1 for Cheltenham in some betting lists despite Fenton pointing out yesterday that the Ryanair Chase, which has obvious appeal for the airline company’s boss, Michael O’Leary, could also be an option in March.

But Last Instalment will not make his reappearance over the Christmas period.

“We’re looking at starting him back in a race in January. We have nothing in mind yet. The whole thing is take it step by step. But he’s in good form and in full training,” Fenton said.

Before that the O’Leary team have a possible attempt by First Lieutenant and Magnanimity on Saturday’s Hennessy at Newbury to look forward to, while Sir Des Champs is on track to make his eagerly awaited reappearance in the John Durkan Chase at Punchestown.

Limerick preview: Willie Mullins is fast approaching the €1 million mark in prizemoney for the season already and it will be a major surprise if he doesn’t increase his winner tally of 79 at Limerick today. The champion trainer introduces his latest French recruit Tempo Du Camp in the second of the maiden hurdles and this May bumper winner should prove hard to beat.

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