John McConnell is contemplating the Galway Hurdle for Orgilgo Bay

Last Updated: 09/04/14 12:46pm

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Orgilgo Bay was a fine third in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham

Orgilgo Bay was a fine third in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham

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John McConnell is contemplating the Guinness Galway Hurdle as a possible target for Orgilgo Bay.

The County Meath trainer has yet to firm up plans for the four-year-old following his excellent effort in finishing third to Hawk High in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

However, the valuable handicap on July 31 is a tempting option for Orgilgo Bay - if he can get into the race - along with other big prizes before then such as at Punchestown, the Chester Cup on the Flat and Haydock's Swinton Hurdle.

"He's fine. We gave him a bit of a break after Cheltenham and he's back in work again now," said McConnell.

"He had quite a hard race. He pulled very hard. If he'd settled he'd very nearly have won it, but he ran a cracker.

"He might go for the Chester Cup or maybe the Swinton. He'll have an entry in the Champion four-year-old hurdle at Punchestown as well.

"We're going to play it by ear. I think he's probably still on the right side of the handicapper, so we may go down the handicap route.

"He'll probably get a run in the next month or so and then he won't do a lot for the couple of months after that. We may look at the Galway Hurdle.

"It's a very valuable race, but he probably wouldn't get in it on the mark he is at the minute. There are a couple of little hurdle races we might go for to bump up his rating by a few pounds and that would get him in, but plans are fluid at this stage.

"We think we have him settled now. We've tried something different tack-wise and he's very settled at home now and hopefully he can do that on the track as I think it will make a big difference to him.

"The hood didn't do any harm at Cheltenham. He doesn't wear it at home but we might save it for the track."

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