Hunt Ball has plenty to offer in Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham Festival
The Gold Cup dream may be over but Keiran Burke is adamant there is still plenty to come from Hunt Ball – starting in the Byrne Group Plate.
The gelding’s runaway success under Nick Scholfield carrying the steadier of 12st in the Pulteney Land Investments’ Novices’ Chase at the Festival last year was one of the meeting highlights.
On Thursday the eight-year-old will be top weight again if Wishfull Thinking is taken out but Burke is not worried about that.
The young trainer from Henley near Crewkerne said: “I am sitting on Hunt Ball as we speak and he looks brilliant – in flying form. It looks a hard race but after running over three miles at Cheltenham last time on heavy ground he’ll be back to his trip of 2m5f on better ground and it’ll take a good horse to beat him.
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“Carrying a big weight isn’t an issue. He can handle that.”
Bob Buckler – Burke’s neighbour at Henley – saddles Double Dizzy for the Glenfarclas cross-country handicap. “Perhaps this will be his year?” said the trainer.