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Ground key to Mouse Morris' Cheltenham big guns

Last Updated: 24/02/14 11:19am

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First Lieutenant: Cheltenham aim yet to be decided

First Lieutenant: Cheltenham aim yet to be decided

Sky Bet

Trainer Mouse Morris faces several late calls over the targets for his main Cheltenham Festival contenders.

The going at the Cotswolds venue will decide the final destinations of Baily Green and stable stalwart First Lieutenant, although Rule The World is bang on target for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Baily Green gave Simonsig a fright in the Arkle last year and after recently having had a pipe-opener over hurdles, his options are the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair.

"He's in good fettle but I don't know which way we'll go with him yet," said Morris.

"He wants good ground really, like he showed in the Arkle last year. Even though it was soft it was better than what he'd been running on all year.

"I think two miles is his optimum but l suppose it (the Champion Chase) is a different race if Sprinter Sacre runs. The only time he's had his ground this season was at Gowran when he was beaten a length by Sizing Europe.

"With First Lieutenant, he just can't jump as well out of soft ground, we saw that in the Hennessy. We won't be decided with him until very late.

"Rule The World goes on any ground, though. The form of his last win has been boosted, Dunguib won last week and Willie's (Mullins) mare (Upsie) won the other day.

"You've not just got Big Buck's to beat this year, though, it looks an open race, there might be Annie Power, too. It's a hell of a good race this year."

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