Pique Sous looks to book his Cheltenham ticket
RACING:Pique Sous, who alongside ante-post favourite Jezki features among yesterday’s 94 entries for the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the opening race of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival, aims to book his return ticket with a run on the all-weather at Dundalk tonight.
The six-year-old was third in last season’s Champion Bumper when he was the chosen mount of Ruby Walsh and after winning a couple of bumpers during the summer, then won his second race over hurdles in impressive fashion at Thurles in October.
He has not been since as champion trainer Willie Mullins has avoided the testing winter ground and he returns to action in the bookings at dundalkstadium.comMaiden (6.50).
Steve Massey, racing manager for owners the Supreme Horse Racing Club, hopes a good run tonight will put him right for a tilt at one of the novice hurdles back at Cheltenham in March.
Massey said: “He’s ready to go and it’s a good opportunity for him to have a go on the all-weather. He’s a good ground horse and if we didn’t run here I’m not sure where he would go, to be honest.
“Willie tells me the horse is fit and well, Paul Townend rides him and hopefully he goes there with a good chance.
“He’s a very keen and enthusiastic horse so it will be nice to get him back on the track and then hopefully, we can look forward to Cheltenham with him.
“We are quite excited about going back to Cheltenham with him as a club, but we know we have to keep a lid on it for now and take it one run at a time.”
Pique Sous is set to face 13 rivals on his Flat debut, with Cairdin, Raise The Beat and Sword Of Honour some of his more interesting opponents.
Aidan O’Brien saddles his first runners of the year at the meeting as Ahimsa and Fairylike, who will be ridden by O’Brien’s daughter Anastasia, line up in final two races on the card respectively.
O’Brien’s son Joseph may be the jockey to follow on Knock Stars and Cairdin.