Enda Bolger says Prengarde ‘on song for it’ ahead of Cheltenham Cross-Country

Trainer not concerned after French specialist failed to impress in hurdles race in Naas

Prengarde remains on track to take on Tiger Roll in Cheltenham's Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase next week.

JP McManus's French purchase had been a long-time favourite for the marathon event but failed to fire in his first start for trainer Enda Bolger over hurdles at Naas over a week ago, finishing well down the field.

However, Bolger has reported that the run has served its purpose and Prengarde has sharpened up considerably.

A cross-country specialist in France, he is a general 6-1 shot for the race at Cheltenham on day two of the festival.

“Prengarde is on song for it. We had to get him out and he’s come on for the run over hurdles at Naas. He’ll work again on Wednesday,” Bolger said.

The renowned banks race specialist could also be represented in the Cheltenham race by Midnight Maestro and Shady Operator.

Champagne Platinum has an alternative festival option in the Kim Muir.

Tiger Roll is set to try and bring the curtain down on his stellar career by securing a sixth festival success in a race he has already won three times.

Grand National-winning jockey Daryl Jacob has won his own race against the clock to be fit in time for next week's festival action.

On the sidelines since December after breaking his hip in a fall at Ascot, Jacob confirmed on Monday he has been passed fit to ride later this week.

“I don’t know precisely where I’ll be having my first ride back but it’ll be Thursday or Friday, later this week which is great.

“I’ll be available to ride for Simon [Munir] and Isaac [Souede] and it is so exciting as they’ve been so patient,” Jacob told sportinglife.com.

“I’ve been riding out for a week now and there have been no ill-effects at all, no pain or anything, everything has been good.

“I’ve ridden horses and schooled plenty and I’ve spent plenty of time on the bike trying to lose a little bit more weight too,” the Irishman added.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column