Morris delays First Lieutenant Hennessy call

Last Updated: 26/11/12 4:53pm

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First Lieutenant (right) and Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase

First Lieutenant (right) and Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase

Sky Bet

Trainer Mouse Morris will wait until the middle of the week before deciding whether to let First Lieutenant take his chance in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

Last season's RSA Chase runner-up was not disgraced on his return to action at Gowran and then pushed Kauto Stone all of the way in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Morris had suggested his seven-year-old was unlikely to take his chance in the Hennessy, but the County Tipperary trainer is now warming to the idea.

With Tidal Bay heading the weights of the 22 confirmations, First Lieutenant is set to carry 11st 5lb if he does run.

Morris said: "We'll keep our options open until Wednesday.

"The top weight staying in might encourage us to go and the choice is whether to run on soft ground in England or bottomless ground in Ireland.

"We'll wait a couple of days and see what the lovely weather is going to do!

"By Wednesday night we'll know whether we're travelling or not."

First Lieutenant is one of three possible runners for Ireland, with the Dessie Hughes-trained Magnanimity and Irish National hero Lion Na Bearnai still in contention.

Hughes said: "Hopefully he'll run, unless the ground is too deep.

"I hear they are expecting a dry week after today, so by Saturday it might have dried out a bit."

Philip Hobbs has Planet Of Sound and Duke Of Lucca in the mix.

The weather will also dictate whether they, too, make the final field.

"Neither of them would want it too soft, so we'll have to make a decision later in the week. It's the same for everyone at the moment," said Hobbs.

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