Saint Roque set for Sandown
Last Updated: 03/12/13 9:31pm
Saint Roque: On track for Sandown
Paul Nicholls reports Saint Roque to be on target for his next assignment at Sandown on Friday.
The seven-year-old is all set to contest the £28,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle that is staged over two and a half miles and has attracted 10 entries.
A son of Lavirco, Saint Roque won the first race in the series at Cheltenham on October 18, when he battled well in the closing stages to defeat Rum And Butter by half a length. Saint Roque won his three races prior to Cheltenham, scoring at Fontwell, Worcester and Newton Abbot during the summer months.
Paul Nicholls reported: "If the weather stays dry for the rest of the week, Saint Roque will run at Sandown Park in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle because he needs good ground.
"I haven't run him since he won at Cheltenham in October because he is at his best when racing fresh. He has won four races now, so is not that easy to place.
"He is very well and I am looking forward to running him again."
Nicholls has won this race three times in the past, including with subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner See More Business in 1995 and with future Grand National scorer Neptune Collonges in 2005.
Champion trainer Nicky Henderson could be represented by Beat That, a 10-length winner on his hurdling debut at Ascot on November 22, and the J P McManus-owned Captain Cutter, who won by the same distance at Kempton Park on November 4.
Ballyalton could reappear quickly, having taken the scalp of the highly-regarded Oscar Rock at Newcastle on Saturday, while Jonjo O'Neill, who scored last year with Taquin de Seuil, has entered dual hurdle victor Oscar Fortune.
Other notable entries include Irish Cavalier, who is seeking a four-timer for trainer Rebecca Curtis, and the Charlie Longsdon-trained pair of Hannibal The Great and Killala Quay.