Plans for One Man yet to be decided
GORDON RICHARDS yesterday refused to be rushed into a decision on One Man's target at the Cheltenham Festival.
"I'll have to have a talk with his owner," the trainer said. "We won't decide for a while and he might have another run yet. He is entered for the Comet Chase at Ascot next month."
The dual King George VI Chase winner was lengthened in price for the Gold Cup by Coral and William Hill after breaking his Cheltenham hoodoo under Richard Dunwoody in the Pillar Property Investments Chase.
After his head defeat of Barton Bank there was speculation that the grey, who flopped when hot favourite for last year's Gold Cup, could be switched to the two-mile Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Richards merely expressed himself happy that One Man had finally won over the course at the fourth attempt. "He won and he didn't have a hard race what else could he do?" he said.
"The second has run his best race ever and One Man is top of the pops this morning he has come out of the race very well." But Richards admitted that his charge's stamina appeared to be running out at the end of the contest over an extended three miles and a furlong a furlong short of the Gold Cup trip.
"Richard said he was going very easy to the last and `flipped' into the lead. But then he nearly threw it away," he said.
Ladbrokes reacted to the doubts over One Man's Gold Cup participation by quoting the grey at 5 to 1 "with a run" for the race. Spokesman Ian Wassell said: "One Man's victory may have been narrow but he's broken his Cheltenham duck now and that may well encourage connections to bring him back in March if the ground remains fast.
"However, a slog in the mud would almost certainly see him diverted to the Champion Chase so we are offering the grey with the `with a run' concession.