sport

Ascot start for Albertas

Jonjo O'Neill will give Albertas Run just one run at the most ahead of a return visit to the Cheltenham Festival.

Albertas Run would have made his seasonal debut in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon earlier this month but the meeting was called off.

Although that race has been switched to Kempton over Christmas, O'Neill never considered entering him there.

The Jackdaws Castle will look at races he has competed in previously such as the Amlin Chase and Betfair Ascot Chase as possible prep runs ahead of Cheltenham.

"I didn't even enter him for the Peterborough at Kempton," said O'Neill.

"I had a talk to Trevor (Hemmings, owner) and we didn't want to rip the guts out of him.

"He's getting idle in his old age and is desperate for a run, but we might give him a racecourse gallop and then take him to one of the races at Ascot early next year.

"That's as long as the ground is suitable, if not he'll go straight to Cheltenham."

Albertas Run has appeared at the last five Cheltenham Festivals, winning the Royal & SunAlliance Chase in 2008 and the Ryanair Chase in both 2010 and 2011 as well as finishing second in that this year and unplaced in the 2009 Gold Cup.