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More to come from Morning Assembly in RSA Chase says Fahy

Nick Wilby in Wed. 15th March 21 Feb 2014

Irish trainer Pat Fahy is hoping a strongly-run RSA Chase will play to the strengths of proven battler Morning Assembly at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

The seven-year-old signed off a promising hurdles career with a Grade One win at Punchestown last April and has done little wrong in three outings over fences to date.

After staying on strongly to score over 2m 4f at Punchestown in October he returned to that track the following month to get the better of Don Cossack in a tough duel over an extra couple of furlongs, being headed between the final two obstacles but rallying gamely on the run-in.

Morning Assembly was then somewhat mugged by Carlingford Lough and Tony McCoy in the Grade One Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown over the Festive period, having little time to respond as that rival pounced out of his slipstream and swept by close home.

However, Fahy felt a few things went against his charge that day and is keeping his fingers crossed that the RSA Chase is run to suit, with his gelding currently third favourite to prevail behind Ballycasey and Smad Place.

"He's absolutely fantastic," said the trainer. "At the moment we're heading in the right direction, everything is fine and he's in great form. We had him away at the Curragh on Tuesday just for an outing, it was a lovely day up there and he really enjoyed himself. The reports I got from the work rider were very good.

"Carlingford Lough is a very good horse as well but maybe we were just beaten for experience that day, there were a lot of high winds and things like that would interfere with a novice, so I think there could be more to come.

"There shouldn't be any problem with the 3m as he's won over that trip, and a stiffer test will probably suit him a lot. Maybe he needs a strong pace like he'll get at Cheltenham to bring out the best in him and we also know that if a horse passes him he can battle back."

Ruby Walsh has been on board for the gelding's three runs over fences but is likely to partner market leader Ballycasey for Willie Mullins at Cheltenham, leaving Fahy to look at Davy Condon or Davy Russell, who both won on Morning Assembly in his hurdling days.

"Davy Russell is not connected to any yards and he's available at all times to school," confirmed Fahy on At The Races. "I need a rider that can come down to see him from now on."


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More to come from Morning Assembly in RSA Chase says Fahy

Irish trainer Pat Fahy is hoping a strongly-run RSA Chase will play to the strengths of proven battler Morning Assembly at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

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