Hunt Ball may head to Kempton before Cheltenham Festival

Last Updated: 16/01/13 10:28am

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Hunt Ball: Could run at Kempton before heading to Cheltenham

Hunt Ball: Could run at Kempton before heading to Cheltenham

Sky Bet

Kempton's Racing Plus Chase could be on the agenda for Hunt Ball should he come through an engagement at Taunton unscathed this weekend.

The eight-year-old is set to go for the Read Paul Nicholls Exclusively On Betfair Open Handicap Chase at Taunton on Saturday, weather and track conditions permitting, and then head to Kempton before a crack at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Trainer Keiran Burke and owner Anthony Knott will walk the track at Taunton on Friday before deciding whether to commit Hunt Ball there this weekend.

"There is a covering of snow everywhere which is a bit of a worry but I'm going to walk the track on Friday with Anthony and make a proper decision but I imagine he will most probably run," Burke told At The Races.

"Conditions won't be ideal but he ran so well in the Peterborough Chase (second to Menorah) on soft ground. He surprised us there really.

"He's back in trip to two-mile-three and that shouldn't be a problem. I think that's his best trip. The owner thinks three-mile-two round Cheltenham in the Gold Cup is his ideal trip.

"He's going for the Gold Cup. I would prefer to put an entry in the Ryanair but the owner has got different ideas so we'll just go along with what he wants to do.

"This is more of a prep run. We want him to get his head in front before we go there. He might even have another run in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton beforehand. He's a horse you can run a lot."

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