Alpha Des Obeaux team wait on handicapper before deciding on target
Samcro on course for Saturday week’s Lacy & Partners Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown
Alpha Des Obeaux: ran sixth to Road To Respect in the Christmas Chase on his previous start and secured a valuable success in November at Clonmel when beating A Toi Phil. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Alpha Des Obeaux has a range of big race options this week but Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud team is holding fire on which one he takes up.
The Mouse Morris-trained runner is 12-1 for Thursday’s Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park and has also been given two entries for Cheltenham on Saturday.
Alpha Des Obeaux figures among 10 left in the Grade Two Betbright Trial Cotswold Chase and has also been left in the Grade Three Festival Trials Handicap Chase on the same card.
Significantly the eight year old has also been left in Gowran’s Grade Two John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle on the Thyestes card.
“He’s in everything except a choir!” joked Gigginstown’s spokesman, Eddie O’Leary, on Monday. “We’d like to see what the English handicapper gives him before making our minds up and we should know that on Wednesday.”
He added: “We don’t feel he’s really competitive off the mark he has at the moment. Maybe he isn’t as good as he was but every so often he runs a good race which keeps his mark up.”
Alpha Des Obeaux ran sixth to Road To Respect in the Christmas Chase on his previous start and secured a valuable success in November at Clonmel when beating A Toi Phil.
He hasn’t run over hurdles since the 2016 Punchestown festival when third to One Track Mind.
Prior to that the horse put up perhaps his finest ever performance when chasing home Thistlecrack in the Stayers Hurdle at Cheltenham and that run came on the back of a success in the Galmoy Hurdle.
Taking up the Grade Two option at Cheltenham is likely to mean a clash with the big home hope, Bristol De Mai, and some bookmakers reckon the sole Irish entry is a 20-1 outsider.
Ellmarie Holden’s Ex Patriot is also among the outsiders in early betting for the Grade Two Galliard Cleeve Hurdle on the same Cheltenham card.
A total of 11 horses remain in the race with Finian’s Oscar in line to put his Stayers Hurdle credentials to the test.
In other news Eddie O’Leary said it is “long odds on” that Gigginstown’s hugely exciting Samcro will line up in Saturday week’s Lacy & Partners Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The unbeaten star is also among the entries for the BHP Irish Champion Hurdle but O’Leary said: “It is long odds on he will run in the two mile-six race. But we just want to keep our options open.”