‘He goes well fresh, and he’ll be fit as a fiddle’ - Mouse Morris relishing Gold Cup test with Gentlemansgame

Mouse Morris is seemingly expecting a bold bid from his unexposed chaser Gentlemansgame as he remains on target to clash with Galopin Des Champs and co in the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

Trainer - Mouse Morris
Trainer - Mouse Morris Picture: Pat Healy Photography

Morris' stable star was kept out of action with a stone bruise following his defeat of last year's King George hero Bravemansgame in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in November. The Robcour-owned eight-year-old had been set to take on Galopin Des Champs in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown but with the previously mentioned issue keeping him on the sidelines Morris' contender will head to Cheltenham for his first outing in five months.

However, the Galway-born trainer was keen to stress his horse will not be lacking a recent run in the Blue Riband event at Cheltenham.

Morris, who saddled War Of Attrition to Gold Cup success in 2006, said: "Touch wood, he's on target, he obviously had the hiccup which ruled him out of Christmas but he did a nice bit of work on Saturday, so we're on track as long as we don't have any hold ups," said Morris.

"He had a stone bruise, but it went right up to his foot, it went very deep.

"We didn't bring him over last season as he had a setback. He'd beaten the winner of the Irish National (I Am Maximus) in his beginners' chase but he's so big, he keeps having issues.

"We took him down to the beach the other day, we take all the Cheltenham horses there, it's a bit of a tradition and it's great for them, a bit of a change.

"He goes well fresh, and he'll be fit as a fiddle, don't worry about that, experience is the problem."

The Cheltenham Gold Cup will be just Gentlemansgame's third fourth start over fences but Morris, who was confident heading into the Charlie Hall at Wetherby, is happy to roll the dice with the striking grey.

"I hate saying it, but I was very hopeful going to Wetherby as he'd run a good race at Gowran over two and a half against a horse (Easy Game) who has won 15 times or something like that," he said.

"We couldn't take him to the north (Down Royal) as the other fella (Gerri Colombe, same ownership) was, but I was confident.

"There are absolutely no similarities with War Of Attrition, he probably lacks a bit of toe but he jumps well and stays forever.

"Most of mine don't run from Christmas to Cheltenham, not many of the winners have, anyway.

"Darragh (O'Keeffe) will ride him, he's only had three runs over fences, and we'll take him somewhere to school.

"I'd say he might not be fast enough to make it! He'll be doing his best work at the end I'd say."

Gentlemansgame is a general 16/1 chance for the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March

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