First Festival plans fluid
Mouse Morris insists it is "50-50" whether First Lieutenant contests the Ryanair Chase or the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival.
After being beaten just a head into second in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December, the County Tipperary trainer was looking forward to a crack at National Hunt racing's blue riband.
But with owners Gigginstown House Stud already responsible for a leading Gold Cup hope in Sir Des Champs, the shorter Ryanair Chase has come into consideration for First Lieutenant.
Another obvious draw is the fact Gigginstown owner Michael O'Leary is the boss of Ryanair.
Morris said: "It's still 50-50 which race he'll run in. He'll be left in the Ryanair and the Gold Cup at the confirmation stage and we'll look at the fields in both races before we make a decision. He's in great shape."
First Lieutenant is a best-priced 9/2 for Thursday's Ryanair and around 12/1 for the Gold Cup the following day.
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