sport

Irving camp consider options

The Paul Nicholls-trained Irving is far from a certain runner in Friday's Grade Two Mitie Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot.

A smart performer on the level in Germany, the five-year-old has made a flawless start to life over hurdles winning at Taunton and Ascot in fine style.

With the likes of Mijhaar and Dubai Prince entered by John Ferguson, Nicky Henderson's pair of Volnay De Thaix and Tistory and Willie Mullins having four to chose from the race could turn into a pointer for the Festivals.

"It looks very competitive so we'll need to have a chat because there's also a race at Kempton on Boxing Day he could run in," said Dan Downie, manager of the Axom syndicate who own Iriving.

"We'll have to just see where everyone else is going and then decide. He's never run a bad race in his life. I thought five was a bit late to be going jumping but he's picked it up very quickly.

"He's always worked well, as you would expect for such a good Flat horse, but you never know how they'll take to it. Bouggler was only rated 60-odd on the Flat and won a Grade Two for us."