Augusta Kate in line for Grade One bid at Naas on Sunday

Ted Walsh rules out a run for Any Second Now in Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle

Ted Walsh, trainer of Any Second Now: “He’s only had the one run so we’ll try and pick a nice stepping-stone somewhere for him.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ted Walsh, trainer of Any Second Now: “He’s only had the one run so we’ll try and pick a nice stepping-stone somewhere for him.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Ted Walsh is in no rush to make plans for impressive Navan winner Any Second Now after ruling out a step up to Grade One company at Naas on Sunday.

The JP McManus-owned gelding was among the defectors from the Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle, with Walsh feeling it would be a “bit much” to ask the five-year-old to tackle top-level opposition on just his second outing.

Any Second Now sprang a 66-1 shock on his debut last month when winning a hotly-contested maiden hurdle in some style.

“I’ve no immediate plans for him,” said Walsh.

“He’s only had the one run so we’ll try and pick a nice stepping-stone somewhere for him. We’ll look for something in the next couple of weeks.

“There isn’t a lot for a horse like him. There is actually no winners-of-one races this side of Cheltenham. He’ll have to run in either a Listed or Graded novice race.”

Though Any Second Now misses out at the weekend, nine runners have stood their ground for the two-and-a-half-mile feature.

Willie Mullins has won the last three renewals with Bellshill, Mckinley and Briar Hill, and has three in contention this time.

Augusta Kate

Gordon Elliott could also be triple-handed, with the exciting Death Duty, unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, seemingly his main hope. Elliott could also run Blood Crazed Tiger and Runfordave.

Noel Meade’s Bel Ami De Sivola, the Mouse Morris-trained Vinalhaven and Enda Bolger’s Stand Up And Fight complete the list of contenders.

Meanwhile, Exciting recruit Yorkhill heads 10 entries for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase at Naas on Sunday.

Winner of last season’s Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Yorkhill made a successful debut over fences when easily landing the odds at Fairyhouse last month.

The seven-year-old, owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, is trained by Willie Mullins, who has two other possibles in American Tom and Royal Caviar.

Gordon Elliott has put in four – Ball D’Arc, Double Scores, General Principle and Stone Hard – while Road To Respect, Some Plan and Velocity Boy complete the list.

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