Morris hoping Rule The World will show class in Goffs Thyestes Chase
Folsom Blue also has chance in competitive field at Gowran Park, trainer says
Mouse Morris: “Rule The World is a class horse and ran a cracker in Leopardstown.” Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Rule The World has filled the runner-up spot on seven of his 11 starts over fences but, remarkably, has yet to taste victory.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned nine-year-old was last seen chasing home top-class novice No More Heroes in the Neville Hotels Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and Morris has booked leading conditional jockey Jack Kennedy for his return to handicap company.
Folsom Blue was third in Leopardstown’s Paddy Power Chase over the festive period and is the choice of Gigginstown’s retained rider Bryan Cooper.
Morris said: “Rule The World is a class horse and ran a cracker in Leopardstown. We have the man in form on his back, so hopefully he’ll run well.
“The other horse only has 10st 1lb on his back and ran a good race in Leopardstown as well. It looks a very open race and hopefully they both have each-way chances.”
The Morris duo are just two of five runners for Gigginstown, with Sandra Hughes’ Irish Grand National winner Thunder And Roses and Gordon Elliott’s pair – Unic De Bersy and and Nickname Exit – also in contention for the three-mile-one-furlong feature.
Elliott also runs Ucello Conti and Mala Beach, while his Troytown Chase winner Riverside City is second reserve.
Elliott said: “Ucello Conti was second in the Paddy Power. I think he is a very good horse but he’s not an easy horse to train, so to be honest, I think he would have come on from the Paddy Power again and I think I should have him spot-on for Gowran
“We’ve declared five horses. The prize-money is that good you have to take your chance.”
Champion trainer Willie Mullins has won the race on six occasions and gave Ruby Walsh his first victory when subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Djakadam was successful last year.
Mullins has four runners, with Walsh preferring Ballycasey to top-weight Boston Bob, the long-absent Suntiep and Urano.
“He (Ballycasey) has been working well but it is always a stamina-sapping contest,” Walsh told Racing UK. “It’s run on very heavy ground and you have to stay to win, so hopefully Ballycasey can.”
Other contenders include Michael Hourigan’s The Job Is Right and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Buckers Bridge.