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Sunnyhillboy in Gold Cup contention as he prepares for Aintree

Last Updated: 27/02/13 8:37pm

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Sunnyhillboy (right) could feature in the Gold Cup

Sunnyhillboy (right) could feature in the Gold Cup

Sky Bet

Jonjo O'Neill has raised the possibility of Sunnyhillboy running in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Although not expected to be a contender to retain the title after Synchronised's victory for the stable last year, it is more part of his preparation for the John Smith's Grand National.

While the Gold Cup hero lost his life at Aintree, Sunnyhillboy was denied victory by only a nose.

He made a promising reappearance over hurdles at Haydock but was pulled up at Warwick last month.

"I've got him in the Pertemps, but there will be 28 runners there and I wouldn't want anything to happen to him," said O'Neill.

"I'm not sure where we'll go, but the plan is really Aintree.

"He could well run at Cheltenham and there would be fewer runners in the Gold Cup so it might be an option."

There will be plenty of other runners for the stable in the handicaps, but another leading fancy must be Taquin Du Seuil, winner of the Challow Hurdle at Newbury.

"He'd be my best chance in the two-and-a-half (Neptune), but it's a hot race," O'Neill said.

Old stager Albertas Run will be back to challenge for a third Ryanair Chase but did not exactly inspire in last weekend's racecourse gallop at Kempton.

"He's just OK," O'Neill said.

"All being well, he'll run, and he's healthy, but is he as enthusiastic?"

The other runner in the showpiece races could be the enigmatic Get Me Out Of Here, last seen when pulled up on Boxing Day.

O'Neill said: "He's in the Coral Cup and the World Hurdle, we haven't decided which way to go but I'd like to try him over three miles again and we might well go down the stayers' route."

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